The Top 6 PPE Items for Small Businesses
It’s beginning to look like the end of lockdown is in sight.
But, while this is great news for small businesses who’ve had to close their doors, we won’t be PPE-free any time soon. This means small businesses looking to open soon will need to stock up on the PPE items they need to operate safely.
If you’re a small business, planning your PPE strategy for opening, this article is for you. We round-up the top 5 PPE items small businesses will need when reopening.
Reusable face masks
Face masks have become an essential part of everyday life over the last 12 months. And, it’s not looking like we’ll be able to stop wearing them any time soon. For businesses with an obligation to provide face masks to staff, this could become costly.
In terms of the biggest bang for your budget, reusable cloth masks are the best choice. While disposable masks tend to come in cheaper per mask, they’ll need replacing regularly – a cost that can quickly add up. With cloth masks, you’ll only need to provide staff with 2-3 each, which they can wash and reuse – minimising your overall spend.
While face visors aren’t a necessity for every business, they’re particularly useful for those in customer-facing environments. Think retail, restaurant, and hospitality.
The reason for this is that Covid we can actually contract Covid through tiny droplets entering our eyes. Since face visors shield our eyes, they help protect us from this occurring. This gives you peace of mind that your staff have an added layer of safety protecting them from viruses.
Like face masks, hand sanitiser should be on the PPE list of most small businesses, regardless of industry. While larger containers are definitely advisable for communal areas, we’d recommend stocking up on the smaller 50ml, 100ml or 250ml bottles too.
The benefit of choosing smaller bottles is that you can hand them out to all of your staff to keep on their person, nearby or at work stations. This way, they’ll be able to keep their hands clean and virus-free, no matter what they’re doing or where they are.
It’s been reported that Covid can survive on surfaces for in excess of 72 hours. For this reason, it’s vital that businesses – particularly those in customer-facing environments – keep surfaces and clean and free from pathogens while operating.
For businesses operating in smaller environments – such as independent retail stores, bars, restaurants, salons, etc – we’d recommend choosing 500ml canisters you can easily access as and when needed.
For larger operations – such as logistics or industrial – we’d recommend the bigger 22-litre canisters with an attached spray nozzle. With these, you’ll be able to conduct larger-scale sanitisation much faster, keeping productivity and efficiency high.
Nitrile & vinyl gloves
One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of viruses is to equip your teams with disposable gloves they can regularly bin and replace. The plastic will keep hands pathogen-free, and, when combined with hand sanitiser provide twice the protection.
Note, when choosing which type of gloves is right for your business, keep in mind that nitrile gloves tend to be hardy, but more expensive. Vinyl gloves, on the other hand, are inexpensive, but slightly more likely to suffer damage. If your day-to-day operations call for relatively low impact work, consider vinyl gloves. Otherwise, if it’s higher impact, you should consider nitrile gloves instead.
Importantly, most industries would benefit from having some variation of these on-site, but they’re particularly useful if you’re in hospitality, retail, or services (salons and barbers) where direct customer contact is inevitable.
Covid test kits
While these rapid self-test kits aren’t strictly essential, they will offer significant peace of mind to both you and your staff.
Giving you a positive or negative test result in as little as 15 minutes, they’ll allow you to diagnose any potential outbreaks in your business and stop them before the spread of infection hinders operations. Or worse, forces you to close for a period prematurely.