If you’re looking to equip your facility or organization with new sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), it is critical to find a PPE supplier you can trust. Not all PPE is created equal, and it’s not enough to simply choose the lowest-priced items you can find. Learn what makes a good PPE supplier and how to ensure you’re getting equipment of the highest quality.
Extensive Product Range
One of the easiest ways to tell you’re working with a reputable supplier is by checking their product range. They should carry a wide selection of essential PPE options in all categories: face masks, face shields, isolation and medical gowns, multiple types of disposable gloves, and more.
For example, if you’re looking for face masks, ensure they have the basics, such as 3-ply surgical masks and N95 respirators. Check whether they offer options suitable for children and adolescents, such as kids’ masks.
When shopping for PPE solutions with different level ratings, your supplier should offer at least one option in every available protection level.
For example, medical gowns are tested and rated according to the ANSI/AAMI PB70 standards, with four different protection levels. A reputable supplier should offer gowns in all four levels, allowing you to select the items that meet your specific needs and requirements for your facility.
If your supplier doesn’t offer something that meets your needs, or if you require products with unique specifications, check whether they provide customized services. Reputable PPE partners will work with you to develop custom, high-quality products that meet all your specifications and physical requirements.
Familiarity with Safety Standards
The primary purpose of personal protective equipment is to protect the users from harm or exposure to hazardous materials in their respective work environments (e.g., pathogens in medical facilities).
A quality PPE supplier should have extensive industry knowledge of all safety standards relevant to their clients. For example, a US-based PPE supplier selling products to European customers must know about European safety standards and offer safety solutions that meet or exceed these standards and comply with all local laws.
Safety should be at the forefront of any company that sells PPE, making them more than just vendors or manufacturers. They should be fully aware of how their customers use the equipment they provide, ensuring the PPE they purchased meets their needs and helps them stay safe.
Although pricing is not everything, customers will always gravitate toward suppliers that offer full service and high-quality products for a reasonable price. PPE pricing depends on many factors: type, materials used, shipping fees, current supply and demand, and more.
Choosing the cheapest available PPE may save you money in the short term. However, it may also result in sourcing products of questionable quality, with no long-term guarantee of safety or performance.
Conversely, choosing the most expensive products is rarely the best solution. Product quality and efficiency do not scale with the sticker price, always leaving the possibility of finding a better deal (equal or better protection ratings for a lower price).
Certifications, Accreditations, and Other Credentials
Government agencies and equivalent entities typically regulate the production and testing of PPE in most jurisdictions. For example, PPE manufacturers in the United States may seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, a part of the CDC).
Although other organizations, such as ANSI and AAMI, develop the testing standards and protocols, government agencies such as the FDA or the CDC ensure their consistent application and inform the customer whether a particular brand or model has passed government review.
A PPE manufacturer certified by the FDA or the CDC can use labels such as “FDA approved” and “CDC approved,” affirming that their products are safe to use and help keep the users safe, giving additional peace of mind to the customer. For example, an FDA-approved face mask or respirator has been tested, reviewed, and certified by the FDA for use as a medical device.
Choose ICU Production, Inc. For All Your PPE Needs
ICU Production, Inc. is your trusted supplier of personal protective equipment. We offer a wide selection of high-quality PPE, tested to the most stringent standards, such as ANSI/AAMI medical gowns, FDA-approved face masks, CDC-approved hand sanitizer, and more.