Buy once, cry once.
You get what you pay for.
These adages are often used to describe not only the price of an item but also the quality. Consumers often have to decide between a low-priced product that probably will not last long term and a higher-priced option that, odds are, will last for a long period of time. Much like consumers, industrial buyers must decide between the cheap safety solution and the more expensive safety solution.
Consumer grade vehicle safety products can often be found at the big box retailers and online on popular internet shopping websites. These products are being marketed to the average household user wanting to make their vehicle safer. Many of these products are characterized by low cost, i.e. thin, wiring, typically do not have circuit protection, and utilize cheap grades of plastic for the unit housing. Because of these characteristics, consumer vehicle safety units are better suited for vehicles that are used by the daily driver, not ones used the medium and heavy-duty industries.
On the other hand, industrial, or heavy-duty grade safety products are usually designed to operate in more extreme environments. The scorching heat of the desert, the muddy construction site, and ocean water sprayed piers just to name a few. High-grade plastics that don’t melt in the heat or shatter in the cold, that are capable of protecting the interior wiring and circuits from the high-pressure of a power washer, larger diameter wiring, and circuit protection designed to protect against transients and short circuits, are all attributes of industrial grade products.
Spending a dollar on a candy bar is easy and people often don’t bat an eye at the price, spending $5.00 on a candy bar might make some reconsider their purchase. The same concept can be applied to purchasing safety equipment to keep operators, ground workers, and the overall company protected. Writing the check for a small sum of money for those cheap products is often easier than writing a check for a larger sum of money. But we have to ask ourselves, do we want the cheap fix that won’t hold up to the harsh environments of that come with heavy-duty industries or do we want the full protection and equipment that was manufactured and developed specifically for the heavy-duty industry?
Can you think of a time that inappropriate safety products were used? If so, what were the consequences?