Onsite vending machines: a safe solution

Wednesday, 13 July, 2022

Access to PPE is critical for the safety of workers. When work is being conducted out of regular business hours, it can sometimes be difficult for employees to source the gear that they need.

The City of Canada Bay, a thriving local government area in the inner west of Sydney, needed a way for its workers to have 24/7 access to PPE items.

In October 2020, after an internal realignment, the council sought a solution from its suppliers. As part of its proposal, Blackwoods suggested the placement of an onsite industrial vending machine to manage the council’s critical inventory, most of which was PPE.

“Like most businesses, we all had to realign our thinking during the COVID pandemic. Our first priority is to keep staff safe, and to do this we need access to key PPE items 24/7. The vending machine became the most cost-effective, space-saving and logical solution,” said Marea Getsios, Procurement and Fleet Manager for Canada Bay City Council.

“As well as site-approved PPE, the vending machine has given the council a distribution point for COVID-related items such as hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and disposable respirators. The machine reordering process is automated and, through usage reports and stock-on-hand reports, we can help the customer avoid stockouts of critical PPE which would impact their work schedules,” said Ben Lawes, Inventory Solutions Specialist at Blackwoods.

Canada Bay Council became the first council in the Sydney metropolitan area to adopt this solution, and the widespread benefits have included the following:

  • A reduction in consumable spend
  • Improved safety and compliance
  • Greater visibility of usage among staff and ensuring the approved PPE is being utilising at worksites
  • Automated reporting and managing key product trends
  • Access to inventory 24/7 for essential safety and PPE items
  • Higher productivity
  • Blackwoods restocks the machine, ensuring all stock is maintained at high levels
  • Touchscreen interface with item dispersal in just four seconds
  • Less time spent by staff leaving the worksite to obtain these goods.

“At first our staff had a bit of a chuckle and were disappointed it didn’t dispense soft drink or chocolate bars, but now they are all grateful that council has prioritised their safety by ensuring key PPE are available around the clock for easy access. There has been a reduction in the hoarding of items such as face masks, sanitisers and gloves,” said Getsios.

For more information, visit: https://www.blackwoods.com.au/safety-spotlight

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