Arc Bites: Easy Does It – How to Pick the Right PPE Provider

“As a safety professional, I don’t have time to be in the clothing business,” William Watson, Vice President of Safety at Miller Electric and Chairman of the NECA Large Contractor Safety Group, said during the round table discussion in the Arc Week Season 4 finale. Facing service and safety issues in his company’s previous industrial laundry program, William knew he had to make a change. “I needed an easy button,” he said.

That’s what he found in his company’s current supplier, and you can too. Learn from William’s experience as he shares what to look for when choosing a PPE supplier:


Based on his firsthand experience, William recommends partnering with a provider who:

  • Truly cares about the workers they protect.

When a past supplier delivered worn garments dotted with holes, William transitioned to a supplier whose products he could trust to perform and whose attention to detail gave him confidence in the level of service his employees receive.

  • Stands by their products and service by providing a straightforward agreement.

The contract with William’s previous provider was deliberately difficult to exit – leaving little incentive for the supplier to perform as promised. Suppliers who provide quality products and reliable service have no need for such restrictive terms.

  • Provides comfortable products.

“Comfort is the number one driver of people not conforming to PPE standards,” William explained. If they don’t like the PPE and it’s not comfortable to wear, they simply may not wear it. What’s more, his employees now have a say in the products they wear and this too helps maximize compliance.

  • Keeps you out of the clothing business.

In his current service program, workers deal directly with the supplier for all ordering, questions, and returns/exchanges and PPE ships right to employees’ doors. This keeps William from having to serve as a middleman – saving time, money, and frustration while freeing him to focus on his professional priorities.

  • Provides supplemental education.

In the current program, the supplier provides engaging education – including training tools, demonstration videos, and informational resources – to management and workers alike, and in-house technical experts are available to aid the company in ensuring compliance with changing industry standards. Products arrive with user-friendly laundering instructions, and resources to support proper care, maintenance, and use are available at workers’ fingertips.

  • Is flexible to the needs of your business.

William’s provider is a one-stop shop, and his managed apparel program is customized to the unique needs of distinct subgroups – leveraging arc-rated daily wear (shirts, pants, and outerwear) for workers who may or may not find themselves working on energized components during the course of their days, and task-based kits for workers who are doing specialized higher voltage work.

Suppliers like this are out there. “Look for those relationships,” William advised.

Are you looking for an “easy button” too? Tyndale makes it easy to protect workers for both safety and compliance – while minimizing costs and headaches. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, a handful of employees, or an entire workforce, Tyndale has a solution for you. Reach out to a National Account Executive to get started today.

Do you have a flash fire – rather than an arc flash – hazard?
The hazards may differ, but the valuable lessons in this series are relevant to workers in oil and gas and other industries that use PPE to protect workers from thermal hazards. Don’t miss it!


Series: Arc Bites

Arc Bites condenses in-depth dicussions into short, focused episodes no more than two minutes long and provides concise, insightful content, offering practical takeaways on Arc Flash safety in easily disgestible bites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *