3 Ways Tech Is Reshaping PPE

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The Safety and PPE industry is evolving daily, with new innovations coming to market which transform the way operatives do their jobs, and maximising the amount of protection available through workwear and safety equipment. One of the biggest impacts upon traditional PPE and workwear is taking place through the introduction of new technologies, which are heightening wellbeing and operative safety, while transforming the industry in positive ways.

Given this, it’s important to consider current and emerging innovations which look set to radically reform the way we go about our daily tasks and manage Health & Safety challenges. That’s why we’ve provided the following lowdown on the top PPE trends underway in the market currently, which will transform safety for tomorrow…

Drone technology

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past twelve months, you’ll have either heard about, or been affected by, the UK’s increasing fondness for using drones. The chaos afforded by unauthorised drone flights brought both Heathrow and Gatwick airports to their knees – illustrating just how destructive and impactful these little machines may be.

That said. it’s not all doom and gloom for drones. Industries including Construction and other sectors are adopting the trend for their own benefit – and it means nothing but improvement for these market sectors.

Operatives are deploying drones for surveillance techniques, using them to access hazardous areas and provide a greater degree of security, without risk of falls or injury. Drones can get into places which operatives struggle to access, providing a clear view of the status of projects, and optimising safety through 24-hour monitoring of sites. Watch this space, as drone technology may ultimately remove the need for some PPE products, through remote surveillance and improved access.

Enhanced fabric

In the field of workwear, the ultimate aim is to create ever-more durable garments, with increased comfort and maximum safety. As a result, light-duty manufacturing industries are seeing the benefits of improved hand protection through seamlessness which enhances dexterity and maintains resistance to cuts and abrasions. Pressure from procurement teams is driving prices down for even the most cutting-edge fabric technologies – great news for the safety sector and customers’ pockets!

Textiles, faceshield designs and garments are all benefitting from the ongoing quest for lighter protective gear, as weaves and manufacturing processes adopt the most versatile and enduring fabrics, at a fraction of the usual weight and bulk. Again, this is ideal for operatives out in the field who don’t want to be encumbered by heavy and obtrusive protective kit.

Instead of the traditional 16oz fabrics deployed for protection against hazards such as metal splash, we are seeing a transformation in terms of 10 oz fabrics which are more comfortable, yet still offer an equivalent amount of protection for workers. Operatives are cooler – both in fashion terms, and comfort on the job!

Waterproofing and chemical resistance is also seeing significant development through technological research, with durable garments meeting and exceeding flash fire and arc flash standards, yet being lighter and more comfortable than ever before.

Virtual Reality

The rise in popularity of Virtual Reality is entering the safety sector, with increasing numbers of organisations choosing to deploy VR when training operatives to uphold and adhere to safety standards. Entering a VR environment for product demonstrations on PPE kit, and presenting scenario-based training to indicate how to manage and control risk is a transformational approach – effectively providing operatives with real-life scenarios, but without the associated risks of being exposed to these hazards in the field. As a result, operatives are gaining a firm grounding in deployment of PPE, without compromising their safety to learn ‘on the job’.

Do you know of any additional technologies that are enhancing our industry? Get in touch and join the conversation, today!