Working at Guardian Equipment | Glassdoor

Guardian Equipment Overview

Chicago, IL
51 to 200 employees
Company - Private
Miscellaneous Manufacturing
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Guardian Equipment is the industry’s leading manufacturer of emergency eyewash and shower products. Its state-of-the-art, LEED gold-certified Chicago facility produces the world’s most reliable equipment. Over the past 40 years, Guardian has worked tirelessly ... Read more

Mission: At Guardian, our mission is to supply the industry's most reliable emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Our commitment to our customers has always remained the same: Uncompromised quality guaranteed each time, every time.

Company Updates

  • We were thrilled to host and tour a group from the Business and Career Services, Inc. Manufacturing Careers Internship Program. Offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at our operation is critical to giving the future workforce an idea of what to expect in today's manufacturing environment. Thanks to those who made the visit and we hope to see you again soon!

  • Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on company news and the latest industry information you need to know!

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Guardian Equipment – Why Work For Us?

Guardian Equipment is the industry’s leading manufacturer of emergency eyewash and shower products. Its state-of-the-art, LEED gold-certified Chicago facility produces the world’s most reliable equipment. Over the past 40 years, Guardian has worked tirelessly to establish an unrivaled standard of excellence. Its commitment to its craft, its employees and its customers is unmatched by its competition.

With an inventory of over 120 fully-stocked emergency eyewash and shower products available to ship within 24 hours of order placement, Guardian offers the fastest shipping turnaround in the industry. Additionally, Guardian components and finished goods are inspected, fully assembled, and tested before shipment, ensuring product reliability. Also, Guardian engineers and manufactures its products in downtown Chicago, IL and is proud to state that all its products are 'Made in the USA.'​

For more information, please visit our website at

Guardian's Legacy

Guardian’s history dates back to the early 1900’s, when Samuel Kersten Sr. founded a plumbing contracting business in Chicago. Although an orphan with little formal education, Kersten was a streetwise, shrewd businessman with an exceptional mechanical aptitude. By the late 1920s, he had built his plumbing company into one of Chicago's largest contracting firms.

Kersten Sr. was an inveterate “tinkerer” and drawn to the world of inventing and manufacturing. His major interest was in developing a new, higher quality faucet, one which featured an adjustable orifice to control the flow of water through the valve. This volume control device — the “Water Saver” — would eventually become the namesake of our sister company, WaterSaver Faucet Co.

After World War II, Samuel Kersten Sr., together with his son Sam Jr., made the decision to formally establish WaterSaver Faucet Co. and concentrate exclusively on manufacturing this new higher quality faucet line. Eventually, their line of faucets and fixtures became heavily demanded by laboratories across the country.

Guardian's Early Years

By the mid-1970s, laboratory demand had grown to also include safety equipment. In 1975, Guardian Equipment was established, with a mission to supply high-quality, premium equipment to fulfill the safety needs of laboratories as well as industrial environments. With the infrastructure for manufacturing plumbed fixtures already in place, it was natural step for Guardian to begin operating out of WaterSaver's facility in downtown Chicago.

By the early 2000's, Guardian's growth had outpaced available space. Guardian then acquired a 70,000 square foot industrial facility, located just one-half mile away from the original ‘shared’ location in downtown Chicago.

We completely renovated the new building, installed a new façade and roof, as well as all new building systems (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection). The result of our efforts was a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that was awarded Gold-Level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In 2009, Guardian officially transitioned production of its eyewash and shower products into this new facility.

Guardian Today

After enjoying several decades of healthy, sustainable growth Guardian has established itself as the leading global manufacturer of emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Our products are relied on to provide protection in virtually every industry and we are dedicated to supplying the industry's highest quality emergency solutions for generations to come.

We are dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our customers every day. With that in mind, we manage our business with constant adherence to four fundamental values:

Safety. Providing a safe and healthy work environment for all of our people is of paramount importance. We have an active safety program that is dedicated to assuring that risks are identified and addressed before a problem occurs. We never sacrifice safety for the sake of speed or money.

Quality. Next to safety, product quality is our highest imperative. Our products must set the standard for performance and durability. We never sacrifice quality for the sake of rushing an order out or cutting a cost.

Service. We strive to get our customers the products they need when they need them. Our customers are under tight deadlines to complete projects. They depend on us to keep our lead-times short to meet even the most demanding schedules.

Efficiency. We must do all of this at the most competitive prices in the industry. We can only accomplish this by continually getting better at what we do. We are always striving to improve our manufacturing processes and take cost and waste out of our business.

Employment Opportunities

The foundation of our success is our team of skilled and dedicated employees. From shop floor workers who assemble, test and ship our products all the way up through senior managers, our people are our biggest asset. We are all dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our customers every day.

Careers at Guardian are both fulfilling and rewarding. Due to the nature of our business, as well as continuous growth, Guardian offers a range of employment opportunities from the manufacturing floor to the front office. 

General Factory/Manufacturing

As a world-class manufacturer of eyewash and shower equipment, we offer a wide range of employment opportunities on our manufacturing floor. We offer rewarding careers in machining, assembly, QC/testing, shipping and receiving. Our factory floor is kept immaculately clean to maintain an ideal, comfortable workplace for all of our personnel.

Front Office

We offer a range of front office opportunities depending on your career goals. Front office personnel work in a rewarding, dynamic environment. Our goal is to utilize each individual's strengths as well as act as a mentor and coach to help each of our team members reach their full potential.

We live by values that guide how we relate to our community and environment:

Support for our Community. We are one of the last manufacturing companies left in the heart of Chicago. We have chosen to stay and invest rather than leave. Due to this commitment, we now have a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant within two miles of downtown Chicago. 80% of our employees reside in the City of Chicago, so staying here represents our commitment to our people and our community.

Sustainability. We are committed to preserving and sustaining the world in which we live. Our Chicago plant is LEED Gold certified by the US Green Building Council for energy efficiency and sustainability. We process all manufacturing wastes on site so the only discharges that leave our plant are clean air and clean water. We recycle scrap metal, packaging and other materials to minimize what goes into landfills.

Guardian Equipment Reviews

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  • Helpful (1)

    "A Gem in the Heart of Chicago!"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Guardian Equipment full-time (More than a year)


    Talented staff and active management,
    Engaged owner
    Ritch profit Sharing and 401k match


    Difficulty communicating vision to staff.

    Advice to Management

    Add manufacturing and inventory capacity to lay the foundation for the next phase of growth.

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Guardian Equipment Photos

Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian Building
Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian - Warehouse Shipping/Receiving
Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian - Manufacturing Floor
Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian - Warehouse Stock Aisle
Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian Lobby - Chicago Skyline View
Guardian Equipment photo of: Guardian Conference Room
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Guardian Equipment Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Customer Service Representative Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Lagrange Hlds, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Guardian Equipment (Lagrange Hlds, IL) in April 2014.


    Interview: interviewed at a local bakery on the weekend, which was generous considering my (then) current work schedule. I also waited a few weeks to hear back regarding an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Would I be interested in taking apart a lawn mower?   1 Answer
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Guardian Equipment Awards & Accolades

  • LEED Gold Standard Certification, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), 2010

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