Vending safety: the way forward in manufacturing

Paul Boughton

In the heavy manufacturing industry safety can never be allowed to slip down the agenda; big things can cause big damage, and it is important to minimise risk at all times.

The human body is no match for a ton of steel or cast iron when it’s on the move. Of course, we know all that and the world’s come a long way from when a few fatalities and a dozen serious injuries were considered an acceptable risk by the industry.

Few countries have tougher health and safety laws than the United Kingdom and all risk can never be elminated. However, some recent research results have shown that this is no time to be complacent.

Reported in The Manufacturer in February this year, one of the black spots for industrial accidents is during maintenance activity, with 10-15 per cent of all serious accidents occurring during either preventative or failure related maintenance. 

Some reasons for this include the pressure to get equipment back on-line fast, workers undertaking work that is a deviation from the norm and in which they are less experienced, and workers having to use tools and PPE that they are not familiar with.

Personal Protective Equipment​ 

There’s also always the possibility that they may not have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hand that they need for that particular job, when that happens they need to get hold of the kit they need and that means a 24/7 service is necessary.

Increasingly, hi tech vending machines are providing the answer for round the clock availability of everything from ear plugs and gloves to hard hats and boots. Industry champion, VendEase, are providing these solutions to a range of manufacturers, from dairy giant Arla, to spirit producers Diageo with excellent feedback from both employers and workers.

VendEase spokesman, Dave Berman, explained some of the benefits. “These vending machines can be wirelessly linked back to our central hub, so that if a problem occurs we’re pretty much the first to know and can respond quickly. What’s more the modern machines can offer so much more flexibility than many people realise, and they can be card operated or token operated by existing staff cards or dedicated fobs.”

For the employer there’s the additional benefit of detailed management reporting; who’s had what and when; very useful because damage to PPE caused by misuse is both very common, expensive and dangerous.

The VendEase PPE vending machines are manufactured in Germany and are extremely robust for almost any industrial environment, including weatherproof, dust-proof and tamper-proof. They can also be manufactured for almost any vending requirement, with each application tested at length prior to despatch to ensure that even the most awkward shape doesn’t get stuck. PPE is an essential, and 24/7 availability is key to ensuring that no-one takes any chances.