b'Poor buying choicesAnother area of workplace safety that Free and Quinn agree is a cause for concern is the desire to cut costs when purchasing safety equipment. Since the 2008 recession the IOSH has seen more companies making poor buying choices, particularly around Personal Why safety is the number- Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, gloves and boots.one priority in manufacturing Quality is the number-one priority when it comes to safety equipmentBrendan Free, Industry Sector Employee safety Manager, RS ComponentsBrendan Free, Industry Sector Manager at RS Components, agrees.When a company is purchasing Workplace safety is extremely important in the OEM sectorthea highly expensive piece of plant companies in this sector are ultimately responsible for the employeesequipment, they will make sure its safety, so they need to take this very seriously, he explains. This is athe real thing, that it meets safety sector with a number of risks, so its well worth the investment in safetystandards, Ho says. But when it equipment and training if it prevents a serious accident. comes to gloves, hard hats, face The OEM sector has a number of risks, so its wellmasks and other smaller items, there is a tendency to go with the worth investing in safety equipment if it prevents acheapest option. The wrong safety serious accident equipment could cost a life and end Brendan Free, Industry Sector Manager, RS Components up hugely damaging a business.Typical risks that employees at OEM manufacturers come up againstWeve seen plenty of situations are working with machinery and also electricityif engineers arewhere inappropriate safety wear repairing equipment and the power is switched back on there could behas been responsible for terrible serious consequences, he adds. As such, some of the most commonaccidents.safety devices we provide customers with are lock-out switches thatFree believes that the price of safety stop colleagues from accidentally turning on a machine under repair. equipment should never be the only IOSH emphasizes the importance of good operational practices inconsideration. Its simple. Quality is maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. Safety shouldthe number one priority, he states. be designed in from the outset in all manufacturing processes, theyCost is not irrelevant, but should say. only come into the equation once youve established that you are Quinn believes that one of the lessons from the pandemic has beencomparing between equipment of the importance of having trained safety people. As businesses learnequal quality.to manage the risks of COVID-19, there has been growing recognitionOur sector teams understand of the importance of the role occupational safety and healththe industry as a whole, whats professionals play, he says. happening in terms of legislation Free is a firm believer in working collaboratively with OEMs so thataffecting safety and also the they can find solutions that actually meet their needs. We try to workindividual needs of particular closely with companies to identify the specific risks that they facemanufacturersthat helps us in their business and then offer safety equipment that protects theircollaborate with companies to employees, he says. We have one customer who we provided withfind the safety equipment to fit a particular voltage testing device, which they tried and approved,their actual needs, he adds. We but they wanted to change one of the leads in the box to a higheralso work closely with equipment specification. We were happy to reconfigure that through our trademanufacturers to understand new counter because it meant the customer had the level of equipmenttechnology so that we can make they needed. OEMs aware of better solutions as they come onto the market.'