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Sandwiches and Ships and Workwear Compliance

In your business you may have never felt the need before to provide your staff with company workwear. Or, more likely, you might reason that any advantages of a managed workwear service are surpassed by costs and unnecessary “added benefits”.

Some benefits, however, are worth considering – such as the barcoding of garments, which (among other pluses) allows items to be tracked so they don’t go missing. But is it really necessary and what difference can it truly make to you as the customer?

In simple terms, being able to electronically track your workwear gives you a proven record of information for each garment. A workwear rental service using barcoding instantly knows how many times each item has been washed, if it has been repaired, where it is in the laundering process and which member of staff it belongs to.

So why does your company need to collect this information?

The ability to record and monitor every garment you contractually use means that you can always provide an audit on request – and that can be the difference between winning a contract and losing one.

Such was the case for one of our customers, a sandwich making company that was entering into a contract with an airline food supplier. The new client insisted on an audit being provided for all of the sandwich company’s workwear before going ahead with the contract – an audit they were initially unable to provide as they had purchased the garments outright and were laundering them in-house. Within a week of contacting Johnson’s Apparelmaster, lockers, doormats and cabinet towels were installed and the sandwich company entered into a rental agreement where all of their workwear was supplied and laundered within the same week.

The result? A full audit was produced which meant that they kept their contract with the airline food company and gained a new client.

The barcoding of workwear items also tackles issues of health and safety in the workplace. It’s not always enough to know that your employees are wearing garments that meet regulations – you also need to be able to prove that this is the case. If you can’t be certain how many times an item has been washed, or when it was first used, this can become a near-impossible task.

This obstacle was experienced by a shipyard that contacted Johnsons Apparelmaster to discuss the safety of their flame retardant workwear. A Health and Safety issue had arisen because the shipyard could not prove that their garments were still flame retardant. Why? Because they had no idea of knowing how many times their overalls had been washed and were unable to prove how they had been washed. To overcome this problem they switched to a rental workwear service with Johnsons Apparelmaster for all 400 of their employees. Each employee was assigned 3 separate garments (barcoded of course) which allowed one for wearing, one for washing and one as a spare – costing just £2 per week per employee.

And the result? The shipyard was provided with a compliance and audit trail and could prove that their workwear met all guidelines.

These case studies demonstrate just some of the added benefits of rental over purchase. Where contracts are at stake and matters of health and safety need to be proven, it really can pay to use a rental service.