Managing Liability with Branded Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Branded merchandise is an important piece of any promotion, and if it’s done right, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression on your audience.  

Right now, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is top of mind and can be a great company giveaway, as it shows you care about your employees, clients and fans as they navigate these uncertain times. Products like face masks, no touch tools or hand sanitizer can also be a critical part of return to work strategies to keep your team safe and healthy. 

That said, you need to make sure you make accurate claims so you don’t put yourself at risk while distributing PPE that has historically been reserved for medical or institutional settingsWe’ve pulled together some tips and tricks for how to brand PPE to make a positive impact and lasting impression while ensuring you’re making accurate claims.  

Make sure the PPE products you purchase have passed safety and compliance testing 

Check with your supplier to verify their products are safe and legitimate. There have been a variety of companies making false claims, taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic, and you don’t want to be caught in the mix of that. If you are sourcing products with any claims of certification (e.g. N95), ensure you are working with a supplier you trust or ask to see safety and compliance reports before you purchase. This could include proof of FDA registration, ISO or CE certification of the factory, and product testing to applicable standards done by a 3rd party lab. Curious what the difference is between the various mask and respirator options? Read our post where we break it down in simple terms.


Be careful with your wording 

Make sure you don’t accidentally make false claims when giving away branded PPE. For example, labelling a 3-ply mask that hasn’t been approved for medical use as a surgical mask is illegal and dangerous. Same goes for making claims about mitigation and cures for COVID-19. Do your research and know what exactly you’re marketing so you don’t put yourself at risk of liability. We’re recommending you stay clear from what might seem like light-hearted claims and statements (e.g. ‘The COVID-19 Survival Kit’) to avoid any confusion.

Consider where you’re printing on the garment and what ink is being used 

Don’t print your logo right over the mouth of a face mask; move it to the side for better breathability. When printing on fabrics with stretch, use silicone ink to achieve the best feel and longer lifespan. Many of these products are reusable and will be washed on a regular basis, so using a silicone ink will help ensure the logo lasts. Learn how to wash your mask here. 


Be thoughtful about what you print

Have some fun with your art! Be creative and consider printing a positive quote in addition to your logo. Whether t-shirts or face masks, we love when brands leverage the marketing real estate offered by promotional products to share a message, call to action or inspirational statement rather than just a corporate logo. Look to positive messages like: We’re all in this together! Stay positive. Be well. Hang in there.

Hang In There artwork | United Nations COVID Response

We Are All In This Together Artwork

Ask questions

These are unprecedented times and we all have questions. We pride ourselves on being a trusted resource and we’re doing our best to stay up to date with information surrounding PPE. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions about how to add PPE to your promotional products and employee merchandise programs.