The Benefits of PPE Vending

About 90,000 equipment and PPE vending machines are in use across the United States today. A popular alternative to a traditional central tool crib, PPE vending machines can save you up to forty percent in improved productivity and reduced product usage.

Tool Crib Limitations
PPE vending machines have significant advantages over your old tool crib. A central tool crib is usually located some distance away from the workplace. Every time your workers need PPE, they have to leave their workstation, walk to the tool crib, hunt for what they need, and return to their station. Each trip to the tool crib and back could take ten to fifteen minutes. If a worker needs to make the trip three times a day, that’s forty-five minutes or more of lost productivity.

Because your central tool crib holds protective clothing and equipment for your whole facility, your workers run the risk of picking the wrong size safety glasses, or a set of protective clothing that won’t suit their task. This both increases the risk of injury and lowers employee compliance, since many workers aren’t willing to admit they chose the wrong gear!

An unmonitored central tool crib has one more serious drawback. Workers may take more than one piece of PPE, either to reduce trips to the crib or to take home for personal use.

Vending Machine Advantages
None of these problems occur with a vending machine. Because the vending machine is on the worksite, fifteen minute round trips to the tool crib are no longer an issue.

Manufacturers can assign specific types and sizes of PPE to individual workers, who then access the vending machine using ID numbers, scanner badges, or access cards. Each worker can only access the gear needed to safely complete his or her job. The machine monitors who takes what and how long it’s been since their last withdrawal, and compiles reports on product usage.

Machine providers offer installation at low costs. You can either lease PPE vending machines or pay monthly fees, although some suppliers offer machines for free if your facility meets their minimum product usage requirements. Suppliers may also offer inventory on a consignment basis, so you only pay for items actually withdrawn from the machine. Inventory control is not as issue, as most machines alert suppliers when PPE is running low.

PPE vending machines dispense a wide range of protective clothing, safety glasses, and respirators, as well as commonly required tools and other equipment. With increased productivity, better compliance, and less inventory loss, vending machines offer many advantages. Looking to the future, their presence on assembly lines and factory floors is only expected to increase.

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