Whether your customers are professionals needing safety gear to stay safe on the job site or weekend warriors wanting to protect themselves during DIY projects, stocking a good mix of safety and personal protection equipment (PPE) makes your operation a one-stop shop. Selling safety gear and PPE also provides add-on sales opportunities. Along with educating your customers on the importance of safety gear and PPE, read on for what’s new and trending this year in this category from Nicole Randall, director of marketing and external affairs for the International Safety Equipment Association.
Randall says the U.S national standard for first-aid kits, which includes minimum requirements for workplace first-aid kits and supplies, was updated and released this year. Prepare your customers for the changes by educating yourself on the new standard and what products to carry that meet the new requirements. If you keep a first-aid kit in your store, this is also an opportunity to update your own safety gear. “Hardware retailers should understand this new standard and the items listed in it so that they can help customers know what supplies they need to ensure their first-aid kits are compliant,” Randall says. Updates include mandatory foil blankets, more specificity for tourniquets and other crucial items.
Mitigating heat stress has become a major focus this year, Randall says. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been conducting reviews of heat stress hazards at or on job sites as part of a new National Emphasis Program. “It’s important for sites to have a plan in place to reduce exposure to sun and heat, aimed at preventing heat illness or stroke,” Randall says. “Along with prevention tactics such as rest, hydration and shade, cooling PPE can be used to reduce the core body temperature.” Along with cooling PPE, carry other products like sunscreen, hats, cooling towels, handheld fans and water bottles your customers can use to stay safe on the job site.
“The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on safety like never before. Prior to March 2020, the acronym PPE was only known to those who use or wear it. Now the world understands protection is necessary when dealing with hazards on the job and when mitigating health and safety risks.” —Nicole Randall, International Safety Equipment Association