Even if the worst of the COVID pandemic is now behind us, all the evidence and research seems to be suggesting that we’re nevertheless going to have to live with it as we go forward. In the same way that flu continues to circulate despite widespread vaccination, so it will be with COVID. 

And the lessons we’ve learned about how to protect ourselves will prove invaluable at peak times in the future, not to mention how much more quickly we’ll be able to respond should similar viruses enter the community in the years to come.

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – has been a fundamental part of the fight to keep people safe from the danger of infection. Ensuring workers had access to what they needed proved especially problematic in the first few weeks of the pandemic, and although the situation improved, the last 12 months have been a case of finding the quickest and most effective way of getting the right PPE to the right people at the right time.

PPE vending machines are the latest step on that journey.

What is a PPE vending machine?

A PPE vending machine is much like the kind of vending machine you get in a works canteen, but instead of dispensing snacks and drinks, it’s dispensing equipment designed to keep your staff safe while doing their jobs. While the main focus in recent times may have been on preventing the spread of infections, PPE can also incorporate the wider safety equipment needed in many factories, warehouses and other places of work. These can include:

  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Safety gloves
  • Ear plugs
  • Coveralls
  • And a lot more

PPE vending machines in the workplace 

There are a number of ways in which PPE vending machines can be of significant benefit in the workplace:

Easy access – With all required PPE stored in an easily accessible vending machine, staff can get to it whenever they need to. That means there should never be any reason for them not to be using it. 

Improved safety and productivity – Because staff can access the PPE they need at any time, without needing a supervisor or manager to hand it out, they are less likely to face the dilemma of getting on with a job without the PPE to keep them or their colleagues safe, or delaying work until a manager and/or PPE can be traced. Basically, it ensures the best of both worlds!

Stock management – It’s far easier to keep control of what’s being used when each allocation can be accurately monitored via a vending machine, rather than managers and supervisors handing it out on an ad hoc basis. That means you should be more aware when you’re running low and need to get in extra supplies.

Reduced costs – Perhaps because people don’t need to worry about whether they’re going to be able to source the PPE they need to do their jobs, they only take what they actually need when they need it. Either way, it seems that total usage is reduced when dispensing via a machine. In fact, one survey found that PPE usage dropped between 25% and 60% after installation of vending machines, without any correlating reduction in its proper use.

PPE vending machines in public areas

PPE vending machines can be used in a number of ways – we’ve so far focused on their benefits in the workplace, where the ‘vending’ part of the name shouldn’t apply, in that staff hopefully won’t be having to pay for what they use. 

But PPE vending machines can also be installed in public buildings like airports, hospitals (for visitors), schools and other places where people may need to use PPE but have none available. Anything that encourages people to wear PPE in places where they ought to, but where they otherwise might not, can only be a good thing. 

Nu Vending is a leading supplier of vending machines to businesses, organisations, schools and colleges across London and the Home Counties. Although we don’t offer PPE vending machines we can certainly help your business with other types of vending machines, coffee machines or smart fridges, simply contact us today.