Skip to main content

Five signs your PPE partner is not protecting your bottom line

Published by
Oilfield Technology,

The setback experienced by the global oil and gas industry in 2015 and 2016 is well-documented: production of crude oil dropped dramatically and the number of active international oil rigs at one point this year fell to roughly one-third the levels in 2014.

Less discussed are the significant changes this retrenchment had on the secondary market, including the diminishing (if not total) disappearance of providers of personal protective equipment services and products like coveralls, gloves, safety eyewear and footwear.

As today’s leaner O&G companies look to steadily rebound with improved sales and greater productivity in ways that don’t compromise worker safety, Paul Olson of Red Wing Shoe Company has outlined “Five Signs That a PPE Partner Is Not Protecting Your Bottom Line” during this time of high-change.

According to Olson, the following five warning signs suggest that an existing PPE provider may not be ideally serving HSE leaders and procurement officials:

  1. Product shipments aren’t moving – Oil and gas production operations can happen anywhere on the globe, so it’s true that getting products across land, air and sea can be difficult. Still, Olson and Nafa say that for the most part, any PPE product should be able to arrive to a location, no matter how remote, within a week of being ordered. If a trend emerges of products getting shipped later than that or not at all, companies have reason for concern.
  2. Service professionals don’t know the region – Can your PPE partner foresee and circumvent government shutdowns, weather-related issues or other region-specific challenges? Are they from the area and/or proficient in the local language? According to Olson and Nafa, service providers who employ individuals who are indigenous from the region have a strong advantage in keeping operations running smooth and the workplace remaining safe.
  3. Advice is based on outdated standards – Safety standards generally change every three to five years, so your PPE partner should be able to educate the organisation and outfit the workers with materials and equipment that are up-to-code. If a pattern emerges in which that’s not the case, the responsibility will still fall on the employer, so Olson and Nafa say it’s best to re-evaluate options.
  4. Products don’t meet code – Related to number three, knowing the standards and meeting the standards are not one in the same. Safety is critical in the oil and gas profession, and companies must outfit their workers with equipment that is lab-tested, field-proven. Nafa and Olson say that when a PPE partner knows, but repeatedly fails, to provide products that meet expected specifications, that should raise concerns in the minds of company leaders.
  5. Outsourcing process unnecessarily drains resources – Today’s top vendors provide a one-stop source for safety and PPE workwear, one that ultimately reduces rather than adds work to the lives of today’s flatter – and therefore busier – oil and gas companies. Red Wing, for example, supplies companies with a virtual platform that works with common IT solutions to continually track and report all of the details for distribution, handle reporting and billing obligations. If their PPE provider doesn’t offer or isn’t investing in a full-service outsourcing infrastructure for their industry, and company personnel are spending their time administering their contracts rather than focusing on their core business, a change may be imminent.

Read the article online at:

You might also like

Professor Andrew Woods reports on oil & gas industry safety risks

A report on the safety risk of working in confined spaces, developed by Professor Andrew Woods of the BP Institute at Cambridge University, indicates that many organisations in the oil & gas industries have been operating below the generally tolerable levels of safety risk.


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):


This article has been tagged under the following:

Oil & gas news