The PPE Program - How To Start A Personal Protective Equipment Business
What is a PPE Program? How to Start a PPE Business?
PPE program is the hazard identification & risk assessment of the industrial workplace and deciding which PPE the industrial employees shall wear. PPE programs also include the employee PPE training that comprises donning, doffing, maintenance, storage, and other aspects of PPE handling. In this article, a detailed description of the PPE business along with the PPE program will be explained.
Is it the right time to start a PPE business?
If you’re wondering about the timing of setting up the industry, then it is indeed one of the best times to begin a PPE business. Starting a PPE business before or during the COVID-19 pandemic would have been hectic. The difficulty would be establishing a well-oiled supply chain & procurement of raw materials. Moreover, hiring labor and raising capital could have been more difficult than usual. The brighter side would have been the ease of getting the required approvals. Now, as the people are well aware of PPE, even after the pandemic, PPE businesses are here to stay & grow.
The PPE business had seen an unreal boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was due to the sudden demand increase in some PPE like the respirator, face masks, safety gloves, face shields, and many more. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has mostly subsided & diminished, the PPE demand still exists. Apart from the industries, the general public has started to use PPE in their daily lives as a precautionary measure. Even though there isn’t any compulsion, many individuals have continued to wear PPE. The reasons are the possibility of another wave of COVID-19 and protection against pollution.
Why did the demand for PPE increase during the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out the blog on the reasons for the rise in PPE demand.
What are the key points to note before starting PPE Business?
Before you start a PPE business, you need to work on at least the following three aspects - Financing, Market study, and Planning.
Market Study (or Research)
One must start with analyzing the existing available data on PPE. The use of data analytics & data science for the market study is very beneficial. Understand which type of demand exists in the market and strive to cater to those needs. Supplying where the demand exists is the best way to earn profits in the business. For example, if there is a demand for face masks in a particular area, then supplying those would be your best bet. The market study helps you in planning the PPE business accordingly. It serves as the raw material for PPE business planning.
It also involves the study of industries in the area of your PPE business (or where you intend to do the business). It helps you to tap the potential of the PPE program market too. If you are not well-versed with market research, outsourcing it to other firms or individuals with relevant experience in this field is your best bet. It is important to note that this market research is crucial for a successful business, so this task should not be neglected.
With the data from the market research, start planning your PPE business. Firstly, initiate the shortlisting of the PPE you would be dealing with. The next step is to decide whether you would also manufacture the PPE or not. It is important to note that if you manufacture PPE, then the capital increases. It is due to the machinery required for manufacturing the PPE. Alternatively, choosing to sell manufactured PPE requires you to locate the PPE manufacturers or their distributors. You can also hire employees who have experience in the PPE industry. These employees can also help you in the planning process. Try to find a USP for your PPE business. For example, you may provide PPE which is biodegradable and helps in reducing the pollution due to the PPE disposal. USP helps in marketing your business.
Start with the analysis of expenses based on your business model. For any business, raising capital is an important task. If you’re starting on a smaller scale, starting the PPE business with your own savings or taking a loan can be a great option. You can also consider an alternative way of raising funds from investors. But for raising funds from investors, you need to have a great business plan. If you are planning to start a large-scale PPE business, then a combination of loans & raising funds from investors.
For more details, you can check out the potential of the US PPE market.
What is the PPE program? How is it beneficial for a PPE business?
PPE program is a process of performing hazard identification & risk assessment, documentation of hazard identification & risk assessment, suggesting the required PPE based on hazard identification & risk assessment, and providing the employees with the PPE training. PPE program should take into account the following key points:
- Rules & regulations by the authorities.
- Adhere to the guidelines issued by organizations like the WHO & OSHO.
- Follow the law of the land.
- Protection of the employees should be the primary concern.
- Co-operate with the company’s existing policies.
The best PPE program always takes into account all the hazards & risks. Based on the hazard identification & risk assessment, PPE is accordingly chosen. Taking feedback from the employees is crucial. For example, few employees may have eyesight problems. So, you need to provide them with tailor-made eye protection PPE. It is also vital to ensure that all the control methods are considered and based on all these selections of PPE are done. It should be followed by providing the employees with PPE training. Ensure that there are occasional visits to the industry to check whether the hazards & risks are in check or not.
Curious ones can check out our blog on eye protection PPE.
Checklist for PPE programs
Consider the following checklist for PPE programs -
Design of a PPE Program:
- Analyze all the control methods have been assessed. If not, then consider control methods like engineering control, elimination, substitution, and other methods. It reduces the burden on PPE
- Involve all the employees of the industry. Their active participation is vital.
- Ensure that the company policies are not violated.
- Appoint a representative from the industry to collect data & reports on the PPE program. Alternatively, PPE business can appoint their employee as a representative of the PPE program. The representative is also responsible for proper implementation, collecting feedback, and publicity of the PPE program.
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment:
- Review the industry’s premises & operations carefully.
- Identify & review the hazards thoroughly.
- Assess the possible risks.
You can also check out our blog on hazard identification & risk assessment.
Selection of Appropriate Controls:
- Use control techniques like engineering control, elimination, substitution, and other methods to mitigate the hazards & risks.
Selection of PPE:
- Select appropriate PPE that protects the individual from the respective hazards.
- Provide multiple options of PPE with different fit sizes for comfortable wear. Even consider aesthetics for the PPE.
- Ensure that workplace trials take place.
- PPE should have the appropriate certification from NIOSH, OSHO, FDA, etc.
- Provide manuals & guides for PPE.
- Provide training sessions for all the employees.
- Ensure that the employees are well-trained in donning, doffing, maintenance, inspection, and storage of PPE.
Audit the PPE Program:
- Review the PPE program after fixed intervals.
- Visit the industry occasionally to ensure the PPE program is running smoothly without any issues.
Starting a business can be troublesome without proper planning, financing, and a lack of market knowledge. When dealing with safety equipment like the PPE, business owners also need to get approvals from government organizations. Furthermore, to make any business successful, one needs to understand the target audience's requirements. Tapping the potential of the PPE program is beneficial for the PPE business owners. PPE business is surely lucrative considering the 12.5% growth rate per year only in the US.