"Colourful PPE" (part 1 of 3): What is the significance of colours in PPE – how do they help make working life easier?

Blue, green, yellow, red, white and orange. These are just a few of the colours in which personal protection equipment (PPE) is available. But have you ever asked yourself if this is purely a question of design, or whether there is more to it? Colours are not just decoration! They affect our daily lives far more than we might think.

In this, the first of three blogs devoted to the subject of “colours”, we deal primarily with the issue of the roles played by colours in PPE. In our forthcoming blogs we also examine the legal provisions and the psychological and fashion aspects of colour. We’re sure you must be very excited!

Avoiding errors and foreign objects

The food processing industry gives us a very simple example of the relevance of colour in PPE: very often, hearing protection and safety gloves are worn in production processes, where there is a danger that the PPE itself could actually end up in the products as a foreign object. In order to avoid missing any contaminating elements, the PPE used in food processing is mostly coloured pale blue – since there are no naturally blue foodstuffs, so that alien elements can quickly be visually picked out and removed.

uvex whisper+ detec – detektierbarer Gehörschutz
uvex phynomic C5 Schnittschutz Lebensmittel Handschuhe

Signal colours with a signal effect

While blue has a signal function in the food processing industry, in other areas, “classic” signal colours are deployed: especially for roadworks or on building sites, where large vehicles and machinery are in operation, there is a considerable danger that workers could be not seen at dusk or when it is dark.  Here, bright, conspicuous protective clothing is particularly important and colours like red, yellow and orange are worn for better visibility.

People working on railway lines and tracks also need to be easily visible. Jackets, trousers and helmets in signal colours are often worn in addition to high visibility vests. Reflectors on jackets and helmets further assist machine operators, lorry and train drivers to detect site workers.

Simple identification of function and purpose

The array of available multi-coloured products on offer for various levels of protection for different employees and workplaces can easily confuse PPE buyers. Some PPE manufacturers are trying to simplify procurement and application by means of colour coding. uvex is also applying its own colour systems for numerous products as an aid to customers and end-users. For example, our protective eyewear is organised according to area of application as well as performance: eyewear for “singular” areas of application – for instance, in the food processing industry or laboratories – is available in colours usually associated with the medical and health care sector, i.e. blue and white, while our heat-resistant goggles generally come in red or in a combination of red and another colour.

The same applies to our breathing apparatus – however, since respirator masks are not usually produced in particular colours, it is the colour of the printed text that is the deciding factor and this is colour-graded according to the level of protection afforded by the mask, ranging from blue, to orange and black. For hearing protection, we have used the traffic light system for uvex K family earmuffs, with green for low noise insulation, amber for medium and red for high.

In certain areas of application, the colours used tend to be inconspicuous – have you ever seen a flight attendant wearing bright green hearing protection? For these purposes, the uvex range includes special skin-coloured products that are generally more or less invisible.

Admittedly, all this colour coding is not necessarily self-explanatory, but once understood, it really does simplify and expedite the choice of the right PPE enormously.

Easy identification of function and qualification

The PPE colour does not always just highlight the function or purpose of the PPE concerned – in fact, sometimes it also says something about the wearer. Have you ever wondered why so many different coloured helmets are deployed on a building site? Although there are no universally valid regulations, on larger building sites, it is usual to identify the different qualifications, functions and trades of the wearers by the colours of their protective helmets.

In general, the colours identify the functions of the workforce, with yellow, blue, green and orange respectively signifying membership of a particular trade: bricklayers and depot workers usually wear yellow helmets, blue helmets protect the heads of plumbers and metal workers, while carpenters and electricians most often wear green helmets. Health and safety officers are identified by their orange helmets, although these can also be worn by lumberjacks and reinforced concrete construction workers.

Visitor or architects, in general people who will not spend hours and hours at a site, usually wear white helmets, with red helmets often worn by supervisors, foremen or electricians with a management function.

Shades of protective eyewear

There is another area of PPE where colour plays a role: in the case of protective eyewear, it is not only the colour of the frame, but often the actual lens that comes in a different tint. Is there any significance attached to these tintings? What colour would be suitable for my particular workplace? What is best for me? These are all questions which anyone buying occupational protective eyewear might have asked themselves.

With the huge range of available options, it is not easy to maintain a proper overview, let alone make the right decision. The primary purpose of lens tinting is to avoid glare, to increase contrast, to eliminate mirroring and reflections and, last but not least, to ensure relaxed and concentrated vision. To give you a better idea, we recommend visiting our online lens tinting advisor.  This will clarify the differences between individual tints as well as highlighting how clear lenses differ from tinted ones.

In any event, it is important to know that even protective eyewear without lens tinting will protect your eyes from UV radiation. All uvex eyewear with polycarbonate lenses affords a protection level of at least UV-400.

Is that all there is to it?

So you see: from a signalling function to information on levels of qualification, a colour can speak volumes in terms of protection in the work environment… and believe it or not, we have a great deal more to say on the subject of PPE and its colourways. In fact, so much so, that we have decided to issue two more blogs giving more detailed information on the subject. Make sure to check the blog again soon: you wouldn’t want to miss out on any exciting updates!


The hazards associated with blue light – and how safety spectacles can help

Smartphone displays, computer monitors, TV screens – artificial sources of blue light are ever-present, both in our everyday working lives and in our private lives. This fact brings a whole range of health risks with it – from tired eyes to retinal diseases – and is confronting us as a society with new challenges. Let’s take a look at the properties and potential hazards associated with blue light, to help us understand what potential eye protection solutions might look like.

Blue Light: Definition

Blue light in the electromagnetic spectrum

In the electromagnetic spectrum, blue light lies in the wavelength range between 380 and 500 nanometres. It therefore falls within the visible part of the spectrum, to which we are exposed every day.

Blue light can be found everywhere – in the natural light emitted by the sun, or in the artificial light emitted by LED lamps or screens (smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions).

The positive effects of blue light

Blue light regulates our biorhythm or biological clock. The body uses the natural blue light from the sun to distinguish between day and night and to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. The perception of blue light (approx. 490 nm) stimulates and controls the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Blue light is also thought to lift our mood and increase the feeling of well-being.

Blue light is hazardous to the eyes

The shorter the wavelength of light, the more energy it stores. Blue light waves fall within the short wave range of the visible spectrum and belongs to the most energy-rich ones. This explains why blue light (between approx. 380 and 450 nm) is more hazardous than other light. In addition to that the fact that blue (artificial) light emitted by screens has a richer spectrum of harmful blue light than sunlight, which contains more yellow and red.

A further factor raising concern among specialists is linked to a change in our lifestyle, which leads to us being exposed to excessive amounts of blue light. In addition to the natural blue light emitted by the sun, we are confronted with artificial blue light from screens and LED light sources on a daily basis. This phenomenon is further aggravated by the length of time for which we are exposed to this light. At work, 43% of adults use a computer or tablet, as well as a smartphone, for prolonged periods of time.

The risks associated with blue light

Eye fatigue

The energy emitted from blue light causes it to flicker more than other light. It also produces more glare, resulting in eye fatigue and headaches in the long term. Almost 70% of all adults who regularly use electronic devices with illuminated displays report certain symptoms of visual fatigue, such as impaired vision, dry and irritated eyes or headaches.

Sleep rythm disorders

Especially in the evening, artificial blue light disturbs our biorhythm by slowing down the secretion of melatonin. This explains the significant increase in the number of people complaining of sleep disturbances and suffering from insomnia.

Agre-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Contact with harmful blue light (between 380 and 450 nm) can lead to age-related macular degeneration. This means that, over time, retinal cells can become irreversibly damaged. In industrial countries, this is the most frequent cause of eye diseases resulting in blindness.

So what can you do?

Wearing safety spectacles that reduce harmful blue light is recommended at workplaces with screens as well as for people who work in environments with glaring artificial light sources (LED lighting), as can sometimes be the case in light industry or certain logistics platforms.

It’s not necessary to absorb the entire blue light spectrum though:

» Short wavelengths between 380 and 450 nm are particularly harmful to the retina.
» Cyan-blue light above 465 nm has positive effects on the organism.

Safety spectacles with the uvex CBR65 tint absorb around 50 % of blue light, with a maximum absorption of 450 nm, ensuring effective protection against harmful blue light without impairing the sleep cycle. They are ideal for use at workplaces with screens.

Conclusion

Blue light is everywhere, especially in sunlight. Excessive exposure to harmful blue light, however, is due to the increased use of LED lamps and screens. Whether at work or at home, we spend a large part of our days in front of a screen.

If you have any further questions regarding protection against blue light or the lens tints offered by the uvex group, please use the comment section of our blog or write to us directly using the following e-mail address: serviceteam@uvex.de


How does our hearing work and how is the ear structured?

Noise is a danger that is often underestimated in the workplace. To better understand how harmful noise can be in the short and long term, you must understand how the human ear is structured and how our sense of hearing functions.

Structure of the ear

The outer portion of the ear is formed by the pinna, which is connected directly to the eardrum via the ear canal. The ear drum in turn is connected to the ossicular chain, which consists of three small bones: the malleus, incus and stapes. All of these hearing “aids” are located in the middle ear, in which the stapes footplate is connected to the oval window of the cochlea, where signals are then transmitted to the auditory nerve.

The function of the auditory nerve

For hearing to be possible, it is important for sound to be modified by passing from the medium of air into the inner ear fluid within the cochlea. Since fluids are far denser than air, without this active adjustment within the ear, we would perceive all noise to be significantly quieter.

Sound enters via the outer ear and travels down into the ear canal, before reaching the ear drum. Here, vibrations are then directly passed on to the malleus bone. A chain reaction follows, with the malleus sending the signal to the incus, where it is then passed on to the stapes and the stapes footplate. Since the acoustic signal gradually travels from the relatively large surface area of the eardrum to the very small stapes footplate, the signal is amplified step by step.

Next, the inner ear fluid is made to vibrate. There are lots of little hair cells which act as sensory receptors within the cochlea with two important functions: they strengthen the sound wave even further and are also responsible for our ability to differentiate between different frequencies. It is this set of events that enables us to understand speech and distinguish various letters or words.

The function of hearing - and the effects of hearing impairments on people

hören ohr kopfhörer

Our hearing is tasked with relaying external noises to our brains. If it is limited in its function – for instance due to a hearing impairment – this can have unpleasant or even severe consequences:

Function

Information exchange

Example

Loudspeaker announcements on a station platform

Effect

  • Sometimes not all information from the announcements can be understood.
  • When speaking on the phone or with other people, information can be misunderstood.


Warnings/alarm function

Car horn, alarm clock, fire alarm, crying baby

  • Approaching dangers cannot be perceived.


Emotional perception

Laughing, crying, sarcasm, jokes, tone of voice, volume, music

  • Sarcasm or jokes cannot be interpreted correctly.
  • Children laughing or music cannot be perceived properly anymore.


Spatial orientation

Perceiving distances and directions with hearing

  • Locating noises/signals in rooms is only possible to a limited extent.


Social functions

Creating and maintaining social contacts (private and professional)

  • Social contacts such as friends and family are avoided.
  • At work, there is a tendency to avoid the canteen, meetings and colleagues.

Bild (C) Travis Isaacs (Lizenz: CC BY 2.0)


Ergonomics: getting ahead of the game

Megatrends like digitalisation or demographic change affect us all – on both a larger and smaller scale. But how will personal protective equipment (PPE), designed, for example, to protect the head and face, have to be adapted in order to rise to modern challenges? At the present moment, is focusing purely on protective function in keeping with the times or does protective equipment now also have to be sustainable, digital and ergonomic?

The tricky thing about demographic change is that we only start to see the consequences of our actions when it is already far too late. On average, society is becoming ever older, and of course this applies to the working population too. PPE manufacturers must overcome this challenge as well, and above all, for new developments they must answer the question: does this PPE actively or passively contribute to preserving an employee’s capacity to work over the long term?

uvex pheos Helmsystem

What essential features must PPE provide?

The immediate functions of PPE are clear: to protect wearers from direct dangers. For the head and face areas, there is a plethora of standards that relate to potential hazardous situations:

  • Head protection: EN 397, among others, applies to safety helmets and describes protection against “falling objects and consequential brain injury and skull fracture”. EN 812 relates to bump caps and sets out how they must be designed to protect wearers from impact-related head injuries. There are also other standards for specific applications, such as forestry or electrical installations.
  • Eye protection: The most important eye protection standard, EN 166, defines requirements for safety eyewear regarding particles hitting the lens at high speed in addition to optical grade and filter properties. Additional sub-standards such as EN 170 and EN 172 regulate UV and solar protection respectively. Furthermore, EN 169 applies to safety spectacles designed for welding applications and the associated flying sparks and infrared radiation with this.
  • Hearing protection: EN 352, which is divided into several sections, enshrines the requirements for various types of hearing protection. This mainly related to noise pollution and disturbances, but speech and signal recognition can also be tested and certified in special tests.
  • Respiratory protection: EN 149 applies to filtering respiratory protection marks and describes the three safety classes – FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 – that each protect the wearer from different types of particles.

These standards are mainly intended to designate products that prevent the negative effects of immediate risks. This is an important cornerstone for preserving working capacity over the long term. However, severe injuries are not the only thing that can reduce work performance; non-ergonomic processes or equipment can also have noticeable medium-term and long-term consequences.

What exactly does "ergonomics" mean?

Simply put, ergonomics is the science of optimal processes and products. It aims to always achieve an objective as directly as possible and without any form of interference. With ergonomics, there is also above all a focus on user friendliness of tools or machines, but it involves preventing discomfort and avoiding the onset of premature fatigue as well.

The “Pyramid of ergonomics” below shows how extremely important it is to work as ergonomically as possible, i.e. efficiently, comfortably and without fatigue. It reveals what can happen even if we just allow small impairments into our working life:

Protection according to regulated standards maintains work performance in the short term, whereas ergonomics acts over the long term. But it is not always easy to combine the two optimally. When it comes to protection in accordance with standards, there are only minor differences between PPE manufacturers – if safety eyewear or a helmet meets the requirements of a certain standard, the wearer is generally protected sufficiently against the dangers present in their respective applications. Ergonomics is completely different story: as yet there are no norms, no standards and no uniformity.

What does ergonomics mean for the area of head and face protection?

The desired ergonomic qualities of a safety helmet are easy to determine: it must be as light as possible and the weight must be evenly distributed across the head in order to not burden the neck musculature and cervical spine unnecessarily. This extends to the visor too, which can cause enormous strain if positioned poorly. For respiratory protection masks, the greatest ergonomic potential lies in reducing inhaling and exhaling resistance by using particularly efficient materials and vents. As another example, ergonomics in terms of hearing protection is focused on reducing pressure as well as ensuring a pleasant wearer climate below a pair of close-fitting earmuffs. For safety eyewear, weight and weight distribution are a decisive factor, but above all avoiding sight impairments (e.g. quickly fogging up) is also important. Moreover, all types of PPE benefit from one particular positive side effect: the more ergonomic the product, the better the wearer acceptance in general.

uvex K-series

Even for applications not subject to any standards, uvex compares ergonomic factors such as pressing force in the test laboratory.

What are the solutions for this?

One approach is to make use of PPE developed by a system manufacturer. PPE for the eyes, hearing, head and breathing that is manufactured from a single source generally tends to have all been developed in close cooperation. The effects of these individual components therefore often dovetail effectively. Poorly fitting combinations of respiratory masks with safety eyewear or hearing protection with safety helmets can especially result in reduced wearer comfort with long-term consequences.

The major benefits afforded by PPE can only be leveraged when individual components are effectively adapted to each other. However, this does still not represent the pinnacle of ergonomics. And PPE manufacturers are well aware of this. For this reason, there are a variety of approaches aimed at conveying and measuring ergonomic features: we, for example, are collaborating with various research institutes, applying scientific principles in order to get more out of the uvex i-gonomics product system.

uvex i-gonomics

Advanced digitalisation is also presenting us with huge opportunities: an intelligent insole that recognises poor posture can offer wearers great ergonomic support. Moreover, gesture control, NFC chips in safety gloves, and integrated displays in safety eyewear lenses are heralding a new, much more ergonomic era in our world of work. There will certainly be lots more exciting ideas and concepts – and ultimately of course products – emerging in this area in the year to come. Exciting times are on the way!


Safety gloves in the food industry

In industrial food processing – as well as in all other areas in which food is handled – selecting the right safety gloves is of particular importance. Mainly to avoid injuries to the hands and skin, but also to avoid any health risks posed to consumers from contaminated foodstuffs. To this end, food law regulations play an equally important role in ensuring adequate protection against one of the most common forms of injury: cut injuries.

Basic requirements of safety gloves

In fundamental terms, safety gloves used for food processing and production applications must be manufactured in such a way that substances released pose no human health risk. Food producers must take all necessary measures to exclude the risk of contamination and guarantee the health of consumers. Standards for hygiene and cleanliness of products form the basis of this. The legal requirements for safety gloves are therefore accordingly strict, as the gloves themselves could also represent a source of contamination. Regulation EC 1935/2004 defines the general framework of requirements for materials and objects which come into contact with foodstuffs. The requirements for safety gloves set out in Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 were substantiated in Regulation (EU) 10/2011.

As an active partner in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE), uvex offers application-oriented solutions for the diverse areas of activity in the food industry. The key to optimal personal and product protection lies in our broad product range, in our customer support which is equally professional and personal at all times as well as in the extremely high standards of quality we place on our own products.

Application-oriented safety glove selection

Activities in the food industry are just as varied as the requirements to which the necessary PPE is subject. In order to guarantee optimal protection for the skin and stave off any contamination risks, safety gloves must be specifically adapted to their respective applications. A precise risk and workplace analysis is of utmost importance in this. To determine which safety glove is the right one for each application, we support our customers as an active partner – and our versatile portfolio allows uvex to cover a huge range of application areas:

AQUEOUS PH > 4,5 ACIDIC PH < 4,5 ALCOHOLIC FATTY DRY, NON FATTY
Examples non-alcoholic beverages, fruit, eggs, vegetables, crustaceans vinegar, yeast, milk, yoghurt wine, spirits, liqueurs olive oil (R1), mutter and margarine (R2), fish, cheese and baked goods (R3), meat, pultry (R4), sandwiches and fried food (R5) bread, pasta, rice, tea, spices, pulses
uvex profi ergo YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex contact ergo YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex phynomic C3 YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex C5 YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex rubiflex (orange) YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex rubiflex S (blue/green) YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex profastrong NF 33 YES YES YES YES (R2 to R5) YES
uvex u-fit YES YES YES YES (R3 to R5) YES
uvex phynomic foam YES YES YES YES (R5) YES
uvex phynomic lite (w) YES YES YES YES (R1 to R5) YES
uvex unilite hermo YES YES YES NO YES
uvex u-fit strong N2000 YES NO YES YES (R3 to R5) YES
uvex u-fit lite YES NO YES YES (R3 to R5) YES

Table: Application areas for uvex safety gloves in the food industry

Cut injuries in food processing

Sharp objects pose a constant risk to our hands, especially in the food industry with its wide-range of activities. Above all in food processing, industrial kitchens and private households, there is an increased risk of cut injuries when dealing with food. For example, this risk is present when cutting up meat or dicing vegetables with a sharp knife, when sharpening knives and also when changing knives in industrial scenarios.

Hand injuries from cuts or superficial skin injuries are, however, among the most common cross-industry consequences of accidents. The official accident statistics from the DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) clearly reflect the above-average frequency of injuries to thumbs and index fingers.

Cut injury

Superficial skin injury


Thumb

4,210

15,141


Index finger

556

19,716


Middle finger

268

9,060


Ring finger

119

4,135


Little finger

106

4,390


Middle hand

314

5,783


Entire hand

824

4,391

Hand injuries due to contact with sharp objects (source: Referat – Statistik – Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV), Berichtsjahr 2014)

 

To avoid cut injuries, it is important to wear cut-resistant safety gloves during these activities. Effective hand protection offers wearers the perfect balance between reliable protection, great wearer comfort and the flexibility required for unencumbered handling. uvex is continually developing its innovative fibre and coating technologies for safety gloves, in order to perfect exactly this balance. In doing so, we are combining technology fibres, such as HPPE or glass, for example, which possess high cut resistance properties and increase tear resistance, with comfort fibres, which offer a high degree of wearer comfort and ensure pleasant climate properties inside the glove.

uvex and HexArmor cut protection gloves

With the latest generation of the patented uvex Bamboo TwinFlex® and the use of Dyneema® Diamond, two high-performance cut protection technologies (in accordance with EN 388:2016 cut protection level C and D) for uvex safety gloves are now available. The strategic partnership with the U.S.-based hand protection specialists HexArmor also expands our cut protection range. The patented SuperFabric® technology used in many HexArmor products, offers a very high degree of cut resistance and above all puncture resistance. This means that the products are perfectly suited to being used for industrial food processing applications.

Two pairs of safety gloves specially developed for the food industry are the uvex phynomic C5 and HexArmor NXT 10-302:

The uvex phynomic C5 is perfect for applications requiring maximum cut protection, secure grip and precision. The thin, breathable coating and the fine-knit glove lining guarantee a good fit for delicate, flexible work. Independent tests confirmed the good skin tolerability of the gloves.[1]

uvex phynomic C5 with cut-resistant DSM Dyneema® Diamond Technology

The HexArmor NXT 10-302 is perfectly suited to food preparation with knives on account of the SuperFabric® technology used around the thumb, index finger and middle finger areas. Specially designed, multi-layer guard plates effectively protect against cut and stab injuries.

uvex phynomic C5 with cut-resistant DSM Dyneema® Diamond Technology

Further information on the products and technologies:

www.uvex-safety.com

www.hexarmor.eu


Contact:

UVEX SAFETY Gloves GmbH & Co. KG
Elso-Klöver-Str. 6
21337 Lüneburg
E-Mail: gloves@uvex.de

 

[1] Independently and dermatologically tested by proDerm – Institute for Applied Dermatological Research GmbH, Hamburg. Further information on the certification and the applied testing criteria can be found at: https://www.uvex-safety.com/en/knowledge/certificates/proderm/


uvex case study trelleborg sealing solutions_tss

Case Study: uvex i-works removes the risk of eye injury at Trelleborg

“If there’s a risk, you’ve got to close that risk out.” That’s the credo of Craig Partridge, the person responsible for workplace health and safety at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. This cased study examines the risk and the process, which included the uvex i-works, to solve it.

Initial situation

Craig Partridge is Health, Safety and Training Co-ordinator for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (TSS), in Bridgwater, Somerset (UK), where the company’s 140 employees design and manufacture high-performance seals for multiple global applications – like, for example, aerospace, pharmaceuticals or transport.

Being a specialist for production management and Six-Sigma and Lean problem solving, he had identified – as part of an area risk assessment – an issue with ejecting particulates on the shop floor areas that needed urgent attention. The company uses compressed airlines to clean parts down, plus there are grinding and mechanical and engineering applications where an injected part or a piece of material could easily come flying off and into a worker’s eye.

TSS has made safety eyewear mandatory for the workers’ 8-hour shifts on the shop floor. “We wanted to cover as many workers as we possibly could,” Craig explains. “The entire staff has been issued with eye protection in case they have to go onto the shop floor area.”

Making eye protection easy

TSS wanted an eye protection product that was comfortable and that fit the bill in every way. They trialled a range of safety spectacles from uvex and two other well-known brands, after which Craig surveyed the wearers and then scored their feedback. “From this process, it emerged that the guys preferred the uvex glasses,” he says.

Craig was happy to take the advice of uvex specialists who visited him to demonstrate and explain their huge range of eye protection products. He chose uvex i-works.

There are several points you have to cover from a health and safety and wearability point of view,” observes Craig, “including safety, vanity, look and personal comfort. Style and look are important to get people to want to wear them”. He also looked for durability, few or no moving parts, flexibility and robustness. “The uvex i-works fitted the bill on all these counts.”

uvex i-works

Workforce reaction

“No one person is the same as anyone else, and personal comfort is very important in choice. Mandatory eyewear is a fundamental step change, especially for non-spectacle wearers, to whom wearing something on their face it is alien and physically uncomfortable. A lot of battles had to be fought. The effort and energy it has taken to get us this far in such a short period of time is no mean feat,” Craig recounts.

“uvex i-works are without doubt the most comfortable glasses I have ever worn,” testifies one of the workers. Other wearers have reported that they find the i-works very comfortable, lightweight and offering excellent clarity. Craig adds that the eyewear has added uniformity and control to the issue of PPE.

Eighty per cent of the workforce had no issue with the eyewear at all. Ten per cent followed what others said. Five per cent had a genuine issue with fit or the specs not being suitable for the job, while the other five per cent were “being awkward”, says Craig. Once again, a representative from uvex came to the rescue, coming on site to talk to the remaining few workers to maximise fit and resolve their issues. “We have only 2% of the workforce issues left to resolve now,” notes Craig.

Benefits

As well as the improved safety of his workforce, Craig has managed to save on average £0.97 per pair of glasses, a significant overall saving of around £1,200 per year assuming an average regular review of once a month.

“It’s not enough to just assume you are safe all the time,” Craig points out. “The information we were given by uvex was beneficial to the point that people picked up the fact that standard prescription eyewear is not safety eyewear. The toolbox talks were very effective, very productive, and worked well. They put the icing on the cake.”

What next?

uvex 1 in action“We will definitely carry on using uvex products. We have a good rapport and a good working relationship. We are kept up to date with innovation and new products. It works.” The strong relationship may lead to TSS procuring other uvex products such as gloves or shoes – the company is currently looking at the uvex 1 shoe.

Conclusion

I can now categorically say that as long as people are wearing their uvex i-works, they will not receive an eye injury,” states Craig. “We have eliminated the possibility of eye injury on the shop floor, fact.”


Homestory #9: Wildsau Dirt Run – Team Event

Their lives are filled with adventure, DIY, crafts and building, but also saving the day. They rise to the challenge and are always totally committed. Aside from the inherent risks they face professionally, these everyday heroes open themselves up to other dangers away from their jobs, which should not be underestimated. That they remain relaxed and focused as they achieve excellent results is down to their exceptional equipment. They place their trust in uvex safety products. Our home stories allow people to share their experiences with their favourite uvex products in unique fields of application.

It all started with a running joke – if you’ll pardon the pun – after a business run with the company running group: “We could do something different.” Perhaps something involving a sense of team spirit and fun? Still feeling that familiar adrenaline rush and full of endorphins from the run, Daniel and three of his colleagues decided right there and then to enter Wildsau Dirt Run in Bregenzerwald, Austria, that very same summer. You might think that they would soon start to have second thoughts…

The group of four soon convinced a total of 15 colleagues to join them – some were inexperienced runners but they all wanted to reach the end as a team. However, to even get a glimpse of the finish line they had to overcome the obstacles in their way: wading across a river, diving into a pool of cold water, traversing a muddy motocross course, climbing over mountains of tyres and also running along a few picturesque trails. In total, the team was faced with two seven-kilometre circuits that, after a week of heavy rain, created almost perfect conditions for the competition.

But there was no backing out now!

uvex: Please explain your hobby in a few sentences and how uvex PPE products come into play.

Daniel: For my part, I have always been a sporty person: from martial arts to triathlons, long-distance cycling and, in recent years, mainly running. A few years ago, I took part in three survival runs just for fun and for something a bit different to long-distance training. So I knew what would be waiting for us …

Apart from three people in our team, we all run regularly with the company running group and one participant has even done a few Tough Mudders in the last two years. So we were pretty well prepared.

uvex: What kind of dangers and challenges did you encounter?

Daniel: It’s not totally safe to run through forests and crawl through rivers, mud and culvert pipes after a week of rainfall. We would also have to navigate sharp stones, bits of foliage and slippery hillsides.

All runners reached the finish line together – filthy, tired, but in the best of moods and safe and sound apart from a few scrapes and sore muscles.

uvex: Which uvex products did you wear for protection?

Daniel: Along with long trousers and suitable running shoes, we were equipped with uvex phynomic XG gloves: non-slip and lightweight, so you barely even notice that you’re wearing them, yet sturdy enough to prevent splinters. Everyone in the team agreed that they were the best option.

uvex: Has using uvex products changed the way you practise your hobby?

Daniel: As I’m such a staunch uvex fan, my whole family (small children, wife and I) use uvex helmets and eyewear for cycling and skating and Alpina helmets and goggles for skiing. My mirrored uvex pheos eyewear, which I use while driving, would have to be my absolute favourite uvex product.

I’d like to thank uvex for supporting our crazy event – we’ll be there again next year, we’ve already got the gloves for it!


uvex i-gonomics: new products at A+A 2017

Two years ago at A+A 2015, uvex presented its new i-gonomics range – a product system which aims to protect and thereby provide sustainable relief for people at work. Since then, uvex has continued to pursue this cause and further develop the product system – now, at A+A 2017, uvex is proud to welcome some new members to the uvex i-gonomics range.

uvex i-gonomics represents supreme functionality in tandem with first-class wearer comfort. The focus is on sustainable relief in the workplace. In order to ensure that this is no empty promise, however, uvex places great value on ensuring that the benefits of its i-gonomics products can be empirically verified via scientific test methods. To find out how this works precisely, we recommend taking a look at our original uvex i-gonomics blog post – it explains how we are able to reliably measure the relief factor of all sorts of products from different manufacturers, how uvex’s relief index works and what the benefits are for you as the wearer.

New products in the uvex i-gonomics range:

  1. uvex pheos cx2 sonic goggles

uvex pheos cx2 sonic compact wide-vision goggles impress thanks to their lightweight design and first-class wearer comfort – the uvex duo component technology guarantees a customised, comfortable fit. Their anti-fog coating allows for clear vision in every situation, even in extreme climates.

  1. uvex xact-band banded ear protectors

The extremely light uvex xact-band banded ear protectors, with ergonomically shaped plugs offer maximum wearer comfort. The integrated sound absorber effectively reduces background noise – such as on contact with clothing. Their thumb indentations make them particularly easy to use.

uvex i-gonomics uvex xact-band

  1. uvex perfexxion multi-standard safety helmet

The functional uvex perfexxion safety helmet is especially versatile: It can be used as an industrial helmet or as a mountaineering or cycling helmet, which complies with applicable standards – its ergonomically perfect fit and optimal climate control make it particularly comfortable to wear.

uvex i-gonomics uvex perfexxion

  1. uvex v-ionics 5219 FFP 2 respiratory mask 

The dimensionally stable uvex v-ionics 5219 FFP2 respirator enables particularly natural breathing with less accumulation of heat and moisture under the mask. This is guaranteed by the bionic structure of the ultra thin and flexible membrane – for noticeably enhanced wearer comfort with every use.

uvex i-gonomics uvex v-ionics

  1. uvex synexo Z200 safety gloves

The innovative uvex synexo Z200 safety glove offers reliable protection – partial protection zones effectively increase tear resistance and cut protection. The high breathability of these gloves, thanks to their porous coating, means they are extremely comfortable to wear at all times.

uvex i-gonomics uvex synexo z200

  1. uvex 1 sport safety shoes

The modern uvex 1 sport safety shoe is characterised not only by its trendy look, but also by its first-class comfort: This is ensured, amongst other factors, by the newly developed last as well as the extremely breathable high-tech material – for completely new, relaxed wearing comfort.

uvex i-gonomics uvex 1 sport

  1. uvex u-cut HC otoplastic

The uvex u-cut HC otoplastic hearing protection provides a further noticeable boost to wearer comfort thanks to its innovative design and ensures an even better perception of sound without neglecting sound insulation. The otoplastic is even more flexible thanks to the opening in the ear canal area, and has also become even more lightweight. The residual volume in the ear canal has been significantly increased. This all results in unrivalled wearer comfort with the same high insulating performance.

uvex i-gonomics uvex high-fit u-cut

  1. uvex cut quatroflex cut-protection shirt

uvex cut quatroflex follows your every movement: A variety of knitting technologies make the protective clothing particularly elastic – in all directions. The tried-and-tested Bamboo TwinFlex® technology ensures comfort on the inside (bamboo) and reliably high cut protection on the outside (glass with DSM Dyneema® Diamond fibres).

uvex i-gonomics uvex cut quatroflex

Questions about uvex i-gonomics?


Sponsoring hearing-impaired kids in South Africa

uvex South Africa and the Rainer Winter Foundation are making a difference in the lives of two hearing-impaired children at Eduplex, a unique school in Pretoria, South Africa. Through their annual sponsorship of the school fees for Thuto (aged 7) and Seabelo (aged 9), uvex South Africa and the Rainer Winter Foundation have provided these children, from disadvantaged backgrounds, an opportunity to receive a ­first-class education.

Thuto and Seabelo attend Eduplex, a parallel medium mainstream and inclusive school which caters for both normal hearing and a small number of hearing-impaired learners.

Started in 2002, Eduplex is a mainstream school which offers the opportunity for hearing-impaired children to be included in the classes (three to four deaf children per class). Making use of the latest medical technology (cochlear implants, hearing aids and FM communication systems), the help of classroom assistants, as well as access to speech and language therapists and audiologists, Eduplex offers hearing-impaired children exceptional facilities to aid their success. With a holistic approach to education, Eduplex helps all their children to reach their full potential. Many school activities, as well as the sports and music centre, provide the children with a well-rounded education.

Eduplex also offers Speech Therapy & Audiological support for learners with hearing loss as well as for their families. Eduplex Audiology also offers mapping services for learners with cochlear implants and Eduplex makes use of the FM and classroom amplifi­cation technology to assist hearing-impaired students.

Challenging profound hearing loss together

The two children whom uvex South Africa and the Rainer Winter Foundation sponsor both have profound hearing loss. Profound hearing loss means that without hearing instruments one can only hear very loud sounds like that of a jack hammer or the ­ring of a gun.

Thuto, was diagnosed with profound hearing loss by the age of 3 and was fi­tted with top of the range sponsored hearing instruments. Seabelo, contracted Meningitis at the age of 2 ½ resulting in his profound hearing loss. With the help of sponsorship Seabelo received a Cochlear implant in 2012.

Both uvex South Africa and the Rainer Winter Foundation are delighted to be working together to help improve the lives of these two children at this extraordinary professional institution. The sponsors will be following the children’s progress closely as they advance through Eduplex and life.


The new European PPE regulation: Greater responsibility for manufacturers

“On 20 April 2016, the new European PPE regulation came into force, but is only legally binding from 21 April 2018. The predecessor of the PPE regulation, the PPE directive from 1989 and the national legislation derived from it, contained numerous detailed requirements for PPE. The new regulation defines several points related to manufacturing, labelling and marketing of PPE in even greater detail. Overall, we view the new PPE regulation as a good chance to
demonstrate our market competency and honour our commitment to quality.”
(Frank Westphal, Head of Legal and Property Rights at bei uvex; in the picture on the left)

Internally and externally, we regularly encounter many questions regarding the new PPE regulation: When is it due? What does it say in detail? How are our products affected? We’ve talked to Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz (in the picture in the middle), Head of Quality Management/Business Exellence at the uvex safety group, about the new regulation and its effects on uvex.

 

When does the regulation come into force and when will uvex be ready for it?

Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz: On 20 April 2016, the new European PPE regulation came into force. It becomes legally binding on 21 April 2018, including, of course, for uvex. The regulation replaces the EU-directive 89/686/EWG  which had been in place for nearly 30 years and was much simpler to implement.

What will change for you in terms of your day-to-day work? What areas will be affected by the new regulation?

Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz: The regulation will affect all uvex safety products. Less in terms of the product itself than supplying details and further information, including manufacturer details, manufacturing and expiry dates (i.e. how long can the product be used for?). Additional descriptive documents and instructions will be required in all European languages, which must be supplied in pre-defined fonts and font sizes. In order to do this, a change to our product master data will be necessary. Production processes will also be affected by the new regulation. For example, new processes in assembly will need to be put in place, machines must be adapted and potentially also packaging.

Do you view the new regulation as a threat or an opportunity?

Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz: uvex will be able to further develop its expertise, which is surely a competitive advantage. After all, it is doubtful as to whether smaller firms will actually be able to implement the regulation in their processes. It is also an opportunity for legal frameworks to be harmonised. This will entail greater effort and expenses in terms of measuring and testing, but this all serves to protect people.

What will happen with the “old” products which no longer comply with the new regulation? Is there a risk of a flash sale?

Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz: Product portfolios must be better managed and products inspected in detail, for example with regard to expiration dates – luckily, however, we do have sufficient experience here. Products which have not sold well in certain colours or sizes will eventually need to be withdrawn from the product range at the right time. Failure to comply with the directive was previously an administrative offence. However, with the new regulation, it is now a criminal offence. Increased duty of care is therefore the utmost priority for all of us!

How are you preparing employees for the new regulation?

Dr Claus-Jürgen Lurz: We have held training sessions for employees working in procurement, product management, sales and other areas, who then in turn pass on their knowledge to other employees.

 

The uvex group’s principle is and will remain: no compromising on meeting quality requirements!