Photo by H Shaw on Unsplash

Protecting Your Employees When PPE is Hard to Find

“PPE has gone up 1000% in price across the board. Companies are calling us and saying ‘Here’s the situation, do you have any options?’”

Angelo Rubino, Business Development Specialist

PPE has been a common term for people in hospitals, factories, and other potentially hazardous workplaces. With the onset of COVID-19, the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been the topic of a multitude of headlines. As more PPE is directed to healthcare workers, companies working with hazardous materials are finding it difficult to source some of the most basic equipment. Equipment that was once just a click of the mouse away.

Angelo Rubino, a business development specialist at Custom Powder Systems, has been fielding calls from companies needing new solutions. “PPE has gone up 1000% in price across the board,” according to Rubino. “Companies are calling us and saying ‘Here’s the situation, do you have any options?’”

The solution comes in two forms: Downflow Booths and Isolators.

Occupational Exposure Limits (OEL) determine the type of PPE a worker might need. The lower the OEL gets, the more aggressive the protection must be.

Downflow Booths are a way of blocking particulates by creating a flow of air that effectively traps harmful material and pushes draws it into a filter. This “wall” of air moves in one direction away from the operator—preventing airborne particles from reaching employees.

Isolators are used in situations when measurements go from micrograms down to nanograms. Ronnie Harris, Director of Engineering, says that “isolators keep the operators on the outside and the product on the inside.” This not only protects workers from coming into contact with the product, it prevents cross-contamination with other pharmaceuticals or chemicals.

“What can we do to solve this so we’re never having stress like this again?”

Angelo Rubino, discussing what our clients are asking us.

The unexpected interruption of the PPE supply chain is requiring companies to look for permanent and customized solutions. Angelo Rubino is hearing companies ask “what can we do to solve this so we’re never having stress like this again?”

In addition to the important protection for employees, the FDA encourages no operator being in the same room as the product being handled. “They want you working through a random access barrier, ” says Russell Krainiak, Director of Technology at CPS. “A RABS is a wall system that keeps everything from the operator from getting to anything that’s inside to fill lines. And you work through gloves just like you do in all our Containment Isolators.”

It’s important that Personal Protective Equipment like masks, face shields, gloves, and outerwear find its way to hospitals and healthcare workers who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19. It’s also crucial that a company like yours supplying pharmaceuticals have a way to protect your employees… and the products you are shipping. And if there’s something Custom Powder Systems is brilliant at doing, it’s finding a customized and creative solution to make your company safe and more effective.

By speaking with one of our experts, you may find that a permanent solution now can both save money, and prevent future shut-downs in the event of another PPE interruption.

To speak with one of our experts about your PPE, isolation, containment, or other crucial challenges, call us today at (417) 868-8002 or contact us via the short form below:

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ELGIN, Ill., April 19, 2019 –  Custom Powder Systems of Springfield, Mo. was recently chosen to receive a 2019 Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). Open to all FMA company members, the FMA/CNA Annual Safety Awards recognize metal fabrication companies that adhere to excellence in safety.

Sponsored by CNA, the endorsed business insurance carrier for FMA, the Awards are designed to promote safety in the industry, and winners are selected by the FMA Safety Council. The Safety Award of Merit is given to companies posting an injury and illness incidence rate for the reporting period that is better than the published Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rate by 10 percent or greater, based on their NAICS code.

FMA Safety Award Joey and Josh“I congratulate Custom Powder Systems on winning a Safety Award of Merit,” said Edward Youdell, president and CEO of FMA. “Safety is clearly a priority for the company. They set a good example for others in the industry. FMA and CNA are proud to recognize all our safety award winners.”

To be eligible to receive recognition, companies were required to submit OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, for the period Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018. Firms of all sizes were eligible. Winners were selected based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code categories and BLS injury and illness incidence rates.

The awards were presented at the FMA Safety Conference on April 10, 2019.

About FMA  

Based in Elgin Ill., FMA is a professional organization with over 2,500 members working together to improve the metal fabricating and forming industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, and the FABTECH® trade show. Visit for more information.


4 Years, 2 Months, 15 Days…But who’s counting?

“How in the world do you do it?”

It’s a question we hear often at Custom Powder Systems.


Because, as of today, we have gone four years, two months, and fifteen days without a lost time accident.

We honestly had no idea that a streak like ours was uncommon – until representatives from other companies began commenting, “This is a big deal” and “It’s virtually impossible considering the work you do.”

So now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to our employees and our clients to keep this streak alive.

The Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is a number used by insurance companies to project future chances of risk based on past injuries. The lower the EMR, the lower premiums will be, and the lower the costs involved. We pass those (not insignificant) savings onto our customers.

The standard EMR for our industry is 1.

Our EMR is .67.

color team photo

This is a big deal for our team. Not only for the men and women in the factory, but also for members of management who would have the unfortunate duty of break devastating news to employees’ family members.

This should be a big deal for customers, too. Because, when you work with an unsafe manufacturer, you will likely be paying more for their product. The rising cost of workman’s comp and high insurance premiums is absorbed into the cost of the products and services. And that means you will end up paying for their mistakes.

We refer to it as a “Carelessness Tax” – and it’s a tax we choose not to impose on our customers

To say that Custom Powder Systems takes safety seriously is a significant understatement. Our employees are our friends. Our family. And when we take care of our family, our costs go down. And stay down.

Four years, two months, and fifteen days down.

And we hope we’re just getting started.

As our costs go down, your costs go down. Click here to continue the conversation.