One of the most vital yet regularly underemphasized aspects of any work site is safety and protective equipment. Safety equipment and work wear, referred to as ‘Personal Protective Equipment’ (PPEs), enables employees to perform duties safely and efficiently. PPEs are present in almost every workplace, be it an outdoor construction site or indoor office. It is this equipment that keeps employees in every industry safe and productive.
Unipro Limited, a Kenya-based distribution company, supplies PPE products to the East African region. The Company is fully Kenyan owned. Unipro operates from facilities located on Main Mombasa Road in Nairobi.
Unipro Limited’s PPE products primarily serve the oil and gas, mining, construction, steel and chemical, and automotive industries.
The Company offers products created and built by leading manufacturers across the globe. Unipro’s brands include Ansell, a global leader in hand and arm protection solutions; PEZZOL, an Italian manufacturer of durable and comfortable working boots and shoes; Canasafe, a Canadian producer of high-quality, high-performance specialised PPEs of all types; JSP, Europe’s leading independent manufacturer of face and neck safety products; and Dunlop, a global leader in branded protective footwear.
According to the National Safety Council (www.ncs.org) , nearly all workplace accidents and incidents can be prevented through taking well-fitting safety measures and using task-related, properly PPE. The most common and often most life-altering injuries occur through falling objects colliding with the skull or face. These types of injuries are also some of the most preventable.
Unipro offers a wide range of specialised head and face protective equipment for all types of vulnerable workplaces. The company’s line of safety goggles and glasses offer designs constructed for a variety of different uses. Helmet types include those built for high temperature, extreme collision, bumps, and mining-related tasks. Unipro also supplies numerous types of face, hearing, and repertory PPEs to prevent head and face injuries in East African industry professionals.
Body protection products range from reflective vests for roadwork to flame retardant coveralls for high-temperature environments. Unipro also offers chemical suits for superior protection against harmful or noxious substances. Ansell’s Trellchem Evo “all inclusive” hazmat suit is both flash-fire and chemical resistant.
Hand and Foot protection solutions have a similar range of industry applications as Head and Body solutions. Unipro’s Fall Protection products, an offering that exclusively carries the Canasafe brand, include rescue lifting devices, shock absorbing lanyards, tripods, and lightweight safety harnesses.
According to a February 2014 Ipsos Kenya article, Ansell intends to intensify its product sales focus within the Kenyan market. Ansell’s plan includes working alongside several Kenya-based PPE distributers, including Unipro Limited. Nick Brown, Ansell’s Sales Manager for Africa, notes, “We’re [Ansell] excited to be involved in this year’s exhibitions coming at a time companies are looking to improve internal safety processes and Personal Protective Equipment offering.”
Upholding Higher Safety Standards
Unipro Limited’s tagline reads “Tomorrow-your reward for working safely today.” This mandate carries through in each product, service, and initiative the company undertakes.
Unipro’s primary goal is to uphold and set new safety standards by providing PPE that adheres to both the relevant European Norm (EN) standards and are Conformité Européenne (CE) certified products. EN standards are ratified and awarded through product approval from one of the three European Standardization Organizations: the CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI.
CE certificated products are identified through the ‘CE’ marking emblazoned in an easily visible location on its external area. Manufacturers must undertake a conformity assessment, set up an electromagnetic, comprehensiveness technical file, and sign a CE declaration of conformity. Distributers (such as Unipro) must demonstrate to national and international authorities that they have acted with due care and ensured all CE marked products have undergone the necessary manufacturers’ steps.
Through meeting both the EN standard’s and CE certification’s rigorous requirements, Unipro Limited ensures that every product it delivers is the very best in ensuring employee safety. In order enhance its safety deliverables, the Company also provides free glove audits with full risk assessment free of charge.
Growing Necessity for PPE
In May 2014, Kenyans realised their nation’s potential for a huge oil boom. The country’s first commercial oil discovery, located in South Lokichar’s basin, could potentially yield over $10-billion in revenue over a 30-year production period. Several other potential oil projects could enter development within the next decade.
As Kenya’s oil industry expands, there will be increasing demand for PPE and other related safety products. This demand could fuel Unipro’s, along with other local distributers’, sales and profit potential substantially in the near future.
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