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?

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!

Wie sicher ist sicher – Prüfverfahren bei uvex

How safe is safe? Behind the scenes at the testing laboratory in Ellefeld – part 2

Personal protective equipment should be one thing above all else: safe. However, how can we guarantee that uvex products actually fulfil the necessary safety criteria? By conducting extensive tests on the material.

Over the past few years we have continually expanded our textile testing laboratory at UVEX SAFETY Textiles in Ellefeld. In part 1 of this blog series you can gain an initial insight into our test equipment – now we also have equipment for testing flame protection in accordance with EN ISO 15025 and a blade cut tester to determine cut resistance in accordance with EN 388.

In addition to standardised test procedures, we are able to use a specially developed test rig to determine the spark resistance of materials, which comes into play in abrasive cutting, for instance.

The individual test procedures at a glance

1. Equipment for testing flame protection

In the standard mentioned above, EN ISO 15025, two procedures are carried out to determine the flame spread behaviour of textiles. Both procedures measure how long a sample continues to burn after the flame has been extinguished. They additionally investigate whether the flame spread reaches the edge of the sample.

a) Test procedure for limited flame spread, Method A – surface ignition in accordance with EN ISO 15025

This test is used for textiles or other industrial products which generally have flame retardant properties or which are intended for this purpose. Six test samples are cut (three along the weft and three along the warp) as defined in the test specifications. The samples are prepared and fixed to the sample holder vertically. The burner is then positioned horizontally and the sample is subjected to a defined flame for ten seconds.

After this, the burner is removed and the sample is assessed according to the following criteria: Continued burning at the edges, afterflame, afterglow, flaming or molten debris and size of holes. The results of the assessment are categorised as set out in Index 1-3. All six samples must meet the requirements. The lowest value is taken as the benchmark for the assessment.

Prüfverfahren für begrenzte Flammenausbreitung, Verfahren A – Oberflächenbeflammung nach DIN EN ISO 15025

(1) burner

(2) flame

(3) mounting frame

(4) sample

(5) holding pins

(6) aiming point of flame exposure

b) Test procedure for limited flame spread, Method B – edge ignition in accordance with EN ISO 15025

In essence, the same test setup is used for edge ignition as for surface ignition. Unlike surface ignition, however, for edge ignition the burner is placed at a 30 degree angle and impinges upon the bottom edge of the vertically held sample.

Prüfverfahren für begrenzte Flammenausbreitung, Verfahren B – Kantenbeflammung nach DIN EN ISO 15025

(1) burner

(2) flame

(3) mounting frame

(4) sample

(5) holding pin

(6) aiming point of flame exposure

2. Test rig to assess a material’s spark resistance (Flexstand)

This test procedure is based on a proprietary development of UVEX SAFETY Textiles GmbH. This test procedure was established in tandem with the development of a special coating which protects wearers and clothing against sparks. This testing apparatus enables us to assess the suitability and effectiveness of a material or the coating on a material.

The test rig consists of a mounted and mobile cut-off machine which is pressed against an iron bar at a defined force using hydraulics. In doing so, the rotating cutting wheel creates typical sparks made from tiny molten metal droplets. For this test, a material sample is suspended in the test rig and is exposed to sparks several times in succession. We have defined the distance of the sample from the source of the sparks and the force with which the cut-off machine is pressed into the iron bar in internal test instructions.

This rig enables us to test and assess the spark resistance of a variety of materials. At the same time, we also use the test method for continual quality assurance.  As there is currently no standardised test for simulating and assessing material stress during abrasive cutting, this test method is also an excellent complement to the established test procedures for heat and welding standards.

3. Blade cut tester in accordance with EN 388

The standard mentioned actually applies to safety gloves for protection against mechanical hazards. However, the test from this standard to determine cut resistance is also used to assess textile surfaces. In this test, a circular rotating blade is applied horizontally to a test sample in a backwards and forwards motion. A cycle is defined as ten revolutions. The sharpness of the blade is tested on a defined control sample before the test. Five tests are carried out on each test sample. A test is carried out on the control sample between each of these. As a result of this test, the material is assigned a cut resistance level or a performance level. Protection levels are defined from “1 low” (1 or 2 cycles) to “5 high” (20 cycles).

3. Coupetester nach DIN EN 388
3. Coupetester nach DIN EN 388

EN 374: Modified standard for chemical protective gloves

Chemical protective gloves must meet the requirements of European standard EN 374. This standard has now been modified substantially. These changes become effective once they are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you of the upcoming reforms, explain the changes and then describe the impacts they will have for users.

EN 374 has several parts. The following parts are relevant for chemical protective gloves:

1. EN ISO 374-1:2016: Protective gloves against dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms —Part 1: Terminology and performance requirements for chemical risks


Increased number of test chemicals:

The test catalogue has been extended as per the new standard. The chemicals with code letters from M to T are new:

Marking of protective gloves:

Type A: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 30 minutes each for at least 6 test chemicals.

Type B: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 30 minutes each for at least 3 test chemicals.

Type C: Protective glove with permeation resistance of at least 10 minutes for at least 1 test chemical.


With regard to the new classification, experts already agree that the 3 new type classes are unlikely to generate new differentiations between the product categories already on the market. Most chemical protective gloves can be assigned to type class A; only thin disposable protective gloves will be assigned to types B and C. The practical use for the user is debatable.

uvex will of course certify all affected products in accordance with the latest version of EN 374; the applicable measures have already been initiated.


2. EN 374-2:2014: Protective gloves against dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms — Part 2: Determination of resistance to penetration

There are no significant changes.


3. EN 374-3:2003: Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms – Part 3: Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals

This standard has been removed and replaced by EN 16523-1:2015, Determination of material resistance to permeation by chemicals — Part 1: Permeation by liquid chemical under conditions of continuous contact, in the Official Journal after harmonisation. There is no significant effect on the test method.


4. EN 374-4:2013: Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms — Part 4: Determination of resistance to degradation by chemicals

This part is new and takes into account the effect of degradation (change of glove material) by the chemical. Degradation can cause brittleness, swelling or shrinkage of the polymer material, for example. This is equivalent to a changing barrier function against the chemical.

This standard now creates a standardised measurement method for degradation for the first time.


5. pr EN ISO 374-5:2015: Protective gloves against dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms – Part 5: Terminology and performance requirements for micro-organisms risks

This standard is expected to become effective in 2017. It should be observed in particular for the risks of contact with micro-organisms (bacteria/viruses).

What effects does the standard have on users?

Users will only notice the application of the changes to EN 374 on the marking of the protective glove. From a user perspective, the standard is mainly used for product comparison and also offers security that the product has undergone standardized certification.

Application consulting with the manufacturer is still very important. The specific requirements for protection must be identified as part of a risk assessment of the actual activities in the workplaces and must take the specific working conditions into account. The user or the responsible occupational safety experts should define the individual requirements and ask the manufacturer for the specific protective performance of the protective gloves.

With the uvex Chemical Expert System, uvex offers a multilingual, online-based platform for researching individual permeation times. There are also experienced employees available on site and in the competence centre for protective gloves in Lüneburg who will be happy to answer any questions about chemical protective gloves.

New PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425 is no cause for alarm!

Experience dictates that many questions tend to arise when new or revised PPE regulations are published: what changes are there? How will I or my business be affected? What deadlines are there and what will it all cost in the end? When it comes to hearing protection and the new regulation (EU) 2016/425, we can give the all-clear: first and foremost, it is manufacturers who must rise to this challenge.

The new PPE regulation will replace the current directive 89/686/EEC effective 21 April 2018. From then on, certification will only be in accordance with the new regulation. However, products complying with the “old” EEC directive may still be placed on the market until March 2019.

The most important change: in the new regulation, harmful noise is officially recognised as an irreversible health risk, consequently falling under risk category III: what effect will this have? Will people who use hearing protection or health and safety officers need to prepare for this change? What do you need to bear in mind?

High risk area: Image by Howard Lake, distributed under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0): https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/5939827914

We can put your mind at ease

This revision will mainly affect PPE manufacturers. They will have to undergo stricter and more frequent quality checks in order to guarantee both quality control and sustainable quality assurance. Additionally, the new CE marking and the protective effect must be indicated on all products (where possible) and on the product packaging.

What does this mean for people who use hearing protection and health and safety officers?

Every employee must take health and safety seriously: this is nothing new, it has always been this way.

Risk category III includes exclusively the risks that may cause very serious consequences such as death or irreversible damage to health*. Assigning noise to this category leaves affected employees in no doubt as to just how important protection against harmful noise is.

Health and safety officers must take particular care to only acquire hearing protection products from manufacturers that comply with the conditions of the new PPE regulation once it enters into force.

How will uvex handle this change?

For uvex, quality control and quality assurance are of utmost importance, irrespective of the new PPE regulation. Our products are manufactured using high-quality materials and rigorous precision so that we can offer optimum protection. In addition to this, we have already been dealing in depth with these changes for quite some time so that we can guarantee a smooth transition in the interim.

uvex PSA-Verordnung Timeline

Timeframe in wich the new PPE regulation replaces the old PPE directive

Do you still have questions about the new regulation? In this case you might want to check the EU site holding all official localised versions of the regulation – or the site of the PPE department of the DGUV. Pease feel also invited to use the comment section below or just send your questions via email to expertenblog@uvex.de.

* Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment and repealing Council Directive 89/686/EEC

Personal protective equipment and bird flu – what you need to know

On 14 November 2016 300,000 chickens from a poultry farm in Schleswig-Holstein had to be culled and disposed of due to an outbreak of bird flu. However, infected birds have also been found in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, and also in Austria, in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary and Poland. The fear of transmission is just as infectious as the disease itself, even though the currently-raging H5N8 virus – whilst extremely aggressive – is not directly harmful to humans.  We answer the key questions about bird flu and protective equipment.

Currently the term “epidemic” is still used very cautiously. However, in view of the rapidly-growing numbers of bird flu notifications across Europe, that can quickly change. Farmers, vets, hunters, hospital staff, haulage company employees, feed manufacturers, waste disposal company employees – the list of people who might come into direct contact with infected animals is extensive. Workers in volunteer fire department members, the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) or the German Life Saving Association (DLRG) could similarly soon – as has happened in the past – be exposed to increased risk in clean-up operations.

But some assurance can be given right away: fundamentally, the currently-raging H5N8 virus represents only a very slight health risk for humans. While it is certainly true that a bird flu illness can result in death in the extreme instance, there has been not a single case of an H5N8 infection in humans worldwide to date, according to information from the Friedrich Löffler Institute.

Personal protective equipment for dealing with bird flu viruses

Should you belong to a risk group coming into direct contact with infected animals or animal carcases, it is absolutely necessary for your own safety – and also to prevent further spread – that you equip yourself with suitable protective clothing.

The guidelines on bird flu issued by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in 2007 remain current in that regard. These recommend:

  • Type 4, 5 or 6 full-body protective suits (disposable or disinfectable) (possibly liquid-tight Type 3)
  • A head covering which completely covers the hair
  • Liquid-tight and disinfectable rubber boots
  • Liquid-tight, tearproof, disinfectable gloves with long gauntlet ends
  • Particle-filtering breathing protection, protection class FFP3, ideally with exhalation valve
  • Goggles guarding against dust and splashes of liquids
  • Possibly chest waders and other use-specific additional equipment

In addition, the guidelines also include explanations regarding hygiene measures and on handling PPE before and after use and during breaks. The Robert Koch Institute also offers FAQs on bird flu – and the World Health Organization (WHO) pages similarly cover the bird flu issue in detail.

Should you have further questions about personal protective equipment for dealing with infected animals, please use the comment function or send an e-mail to expertenblog@uvex.de – and for uvex customers who want to know if their personal protective equipment is suitable for contact with bird flu viruses, we’ve put together a product information flyer.

UPDATE: Our understanding of sustainability – explained using 5 infographics

„In ecology, sustainability is the capacity to endure; it is how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely.“ (wikipedia)

To put it succinctly, adopting a sustainable philosophy represents a promise to mankind and the environment to think about the future today. This involves a conscientious approach to consumption of resources in addition to controlled corporate growth, social HR policy and much more. uvex published a Sustainability Report for the first time earlier this year, outlining sustainability at uvex and measures that have been implemented across all areas of the uvex group.

A key feature of corporate sustainability is self-perception: as a family company in its third generation of ownership, uvex perceives itself as a leader of innovation and technology. We focus on investments which may only yield results after a few years. Healthy growth is therefore a duty for us. But healthy growth can only be achieved by those who factor in their surroundings – people, environment and regions.

Sustainability is a multi-faceted concept, some of which are presented in the form of infographics below – more detailed information on this subject can be found on our website or in the uvex Sustainability Report 2014.

Sustainability is economic success which does not come at a cost for our shared future.

Update as of October 31, 2016: There now is a new sustainability report on the uvex group website.

Sleep Pattern – an earplug art installation by Linda Simon

Who would have thought that hearing protection would be displayed in an art gallery? An artist from the United Kingdom has turned 6,000 uvex earplugs into an impressive art installation – powered by “big data” collected by her sleep tracker.

An interview with Linda Simon, the woman behind “Sleep Pattern”.

Kent-based artist Linda Simon, whose work is influenced by digital technology and data, had a background in IT before becoming an artist. uvex’s Swedish manufacturing facility sent her the 6,000 earplugs she needed for her work Sleep Patttern without demur. Sleep Pattern – December 2015, was available to view in the exhibition Time at Maidstone Museum until 25 June 2016.

Sleep Pattern uvex Gehörschutzstöpsel Kunst Linda Simon

Linda, how did you become an artist after being an IT professional?

I have always made things, and done traditional crafts such as knitting and crochet. I needed a release from IT when I was working in it, so I started to investigate practical hobbies. I worked with stained glass for two years, but found it a bit too rigid for me.

I had never drawn or painted, so I did a part-time course that opened up the whole new world of contemporary art, where I realised you can make art out of anything. Then I did a Fine Art degree and took it from there.

What do you hope to achieve through your work?

My work blurs the boundaries of the digital and physical worlds by creating objects and installations that reference the hidden spaces of the Internet and computer operating systems. As a data collector, I transform abstract numbers into arresting visual patterns using everyday objects. I have an affinity with everyday materials, which I look for and collect. I wait for an idea to emerge, and then use them.

I approach each piece through an exploration of the inherent physical qualities and relationship of the object to the subject. The process of constructing the work is often repetitive and time-consuming, in stark contrast to the fast pace of technology.

How did you create your work Sleep Pattern?

I plotted my sleep, using data collected via a Garmin Vivofit fitness device, between 10pm and 10am for the whole of December last year. I extracted the data and broke it down into five-minute intervals, each of which is depicted using a disposable foam earplug, kindly donated by uvex.

I inserted the earplugs into a wire mesh grid, which they fitted perfectly, so that I just had to push them in. Once they had expanded, they held themselves in place. I like to work with materials as naturally as possible.

Pink earplugs represent periods of being awake, green ones show periods of light sleep and blue ones depict deep sleep. Each row represents one night of sleep.

The gaps within the work have been deliberately left blank to show periods where no data is available, whether through my human error or for technical reasons.

What gave you the idea for the piece?

I belong to the artist cooperative, Making Art Work and the theme for our annual members’ exhibition was Time. I was just sitting one day uploading the data from my fitness device to my phone. When I examined my sleep patterns in chunks of data it looked like a knitted blanket, so I decided to knit it for the Time exhibition.

However, I realised I had always wanted to make a piece out of earplugs, as it is a very unusual material for an artwork.

I wear earplugs at night anyway, so I sent off for a multipack of them which contained earplugs with amazing colours and shapes.

Sleep and earplugs go together and the idea just popped up. I worked out how to plot the data using them. But when I realised I would need around 6,000 of them, I knew I couldn’t afford to buy that many.

Sleep Pattern uvex Gehörschutzstöpsel Kunst Linda Simon

How did you get the number of earplugs you needed for your piece?

I wrote a proposal and approached several companies selling earplugs to see if any would be willing to donate 6,000 of them to me. Most companies completely ignored me.

I contacted 10 to 12 companies until I found uvex’s Clair Weston’s details online and contacted her directly. Clair was very enthusiastic and referred me to Goran Berg at uvex’s earplug manufacturing facility, who was equally keen. I had almost given up hope, and thought I would revert back to my original idea of creating the work in knitting.

This happened at the end March – I only had till the beginning of May before the exhibition opened and I was starting to get concerned about timescales. Luckily uvex helped me out.

Did you specify the colours you wanted from uvex?

No, I couldn’t be that cheeky! I asked for three contrasting colours and explained how I was going to use them. uvex responded very quickly and turned my request round within a week. When I opened the box and saw these amazing colours, it couldn’t have been more perfect, as the plugs are really bright and they are colours that I like and have used in the past.

What did you hope for?

I had seen some beige-like colours online, and I don’t like beige. But uvex’s earplugs were exactly what I’d hoped for and it was quite easy to determine which colours to use for which part of sleep.

Pink is the colour used by the fitness device for when I am awake and it felt like it was the liveliest colour. I also thought the colour pink would pop out between the green and blue for those periods between light and deep sleep when I was awake during the night. Blue seemed very appropriate for calm deep sleep. It felt quite natural to use colours that way.

What feedback have you had from visitors?

The exhibition is going really well and my work has attracted a lot of attention. I’m extremely pleased with how the piece looks and I’ve had lots of very positive feedback – many people had no idea earplugs came in such fantastic colours.

Quite a lot of visitors run their hands along the work as they walk past it, as the earplugs invite them to be tactile. The artwork is reasonably robust and none of the plugs have come out yet. I’ve also had feedback on Twitter saying people like it visually and find it interesting, even before they know the story behind it. It is a fascinating object in its own right.

How did you like working with uvex?

They were great. They have been really responsive and supportive. When I sent the photos through, Goran’s response was extremely enthusiastic. It is nice that I didn’t disappoint them.

What about future collaborations with uvex?

I’m now thinking about doing a bigger piece and the offer is there if I would like more earplugs for future pieces. I have been playing with the idea of using rug canvas to get an immersive 3D or interactive effect that doesn’t have jagged edges like the wire mesh does. I’d like to make something a person can lie on and interact with.

It’s really generous of uvex as I didn’t want to push my luck and would never have asked for more plugs. It would be brilliant if I could do some more work with uvex products. I still have quite a few earplugs left to experiment with, and I did have the crazy idea of plotting an entire year of sleep in earplugs, so you never know…

The benefits of working with uvex

Linda’s contact details
Webseite: www.lindasimon.co.uk
E-Mail: info@lindasimon.co.uk

The traditional way artists are able to realise their projects is via funding models and commissions. But this good experience with uvex has opened my eyes to how you can work in other ways.

I hadn’t really thought about how the relationship might evolve and it’s nice to think we can continue to work together. It’s also great to realise that there are other ways for artists to get materials for their work than going to the Arts Council and other funding bodies.

A lot of other artists have been very interested in what I’ve done and I think that might influence them to also try different ways to get materials for their projects.

All in all it has been a very beneficial experience, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to uvex for taking the time to read my request and then act upon it. It doesn’t always happen.

Change to the standard regulating cut protection safety gloves: EN 388:2003 compared to EN 388:2016 and ISO 13997

In Europe, the standard EN 388:2003 is used to regulate protection classes of cut restistant safety gloves. To achieve a high level of cut protection, several technical materials – known as high performance fibres – are used. This process of constantly further developing materials requires testing procedures and classifications of these products to be adapted – this was realised in new revised standard EN 388:2016.

Test method in accordance with EN 388:2003

The test method for cut protection has up until now been conducted via what is known as a “blade cut test”. A rotating circular knife is constantly moving to and fro with a defined force (5N) on the test object, until the blade breaks through the material. The sharpness of the blade is measured against a reference material (cotton) at both the beginning and end of the test. This allows the wear and tear to which the blade is subjected, to be determined and factored in to the end result. The result is displayed as an index value. The index value is calculated firstly from the cycle count required to cut through the test product and secondly by ascertaining the degree of wear and tear on the blade.

Schnittschutztestgerät nach EN 388:2003

Cut protection test device in accordance with EN 388:2003

Abb. 1.2: Schnittschutztest nach EN 388:2003

Cut protection test in accordance with EN 388:2003

Through this process, the resistance of the safety glove is measured under constant strain and repeated contact against a sharp-edged object. To determine the performance class in accordance with EN 388:2003, five measurements are carried out per test object. The five index values are added up and the mean value of these reveals the corresponding performance class for the cut protection function of a safety glove.


Performance Level 1 2 3 4 5
Index ≥ 1,2 ≥ 2,5 ≥ 5 ≥ 10 ≥ 20

Testing method in accordance with EN 388:2016/ISO 13997

The changes in the new DIN EN 388:2016 are above all applicable to cut protection safety gloves, which are made from materials designed to have a blunting effect on the blades currently used (e.g. by way of glass and steel fibres). For these safety gloves, additional cut protection tests must be carried out and verified in accordance with ISO 13997.

During the testing method in accordance with ISO 13997, a sharp-edged object is used to determine the durability of the safety glove by subjecting the test object to great force in a single contact. For this, a long, straight blade is dragged over the test product only once. This enables the minimum force required to cut the test product at a thickness of 20 mm to be ascertained.

Gants de protection anti-coupure certfiés ISO 13997

Cut protection test device in accordance with ISO 13997

Abb. 2.2: Schnittschutztest nach ISO 13997

Cut protection test in accordance with ISO 13997

The result is displayed in Newtons (N). The test product is assigned a cut protection class on the basis of this Newton value.


Performance Level A B C D E F
Newtonwert ≥ 2 ≥ 5 ≥ 10 ≥ 15 ≥ 22 ≥ 30

The test method in accordance with EN 388:2003 tends to be more representative for areas of application which feature sharp, relatively lightweight objects. In contrast, the test method in accordance with ISO 13997 provides a more effective overview of cut resistance during work with varying force impacts and impact-based dangers. Furthermore, the classification of cut resistance differs in accordance with ISO 13997, as this is composed of six possible grades and the gap between each classification is not so large. On account of the clear differences in test method and the classification, it is not possible to effectively compare the two standards. No correlation between the two assessment scales can therefore be identified. Performing well in one test method does not necessarily mean that a high performance level can be guaranteed in the other.

New classification of cut-protection gloves

Cut-protection gloves which are certified in accordance with the extended testing methods of EN 388:2016 are being marked as followed:

What do these changes mean for users?

  • All pre-existing EN 388 certifications will remain valid until a new certification is needed (max. 5 years).
  • All products will continue to be assigned the same performance level.
  • The correct selection is still dependent on exact use/cut protection risk in practical, real-life situations.
  • As a leading manufacturer of cut protection products, uvex’s own laboratories contain modern measuring technology required to conduct tests in accordance with both norms. We are available at all times to answer any queries you may have.

An overview of the cut protection safety gloves currently offered by uvex:

uvex safety gloves according to EN 388:2016

Find out more about this topic and discover our current range of cut-protective gloves here: https://www.uvex-safety.com/en/product-group/uvex-cut-protection/

A look back at the A+A 2015

More than 65,000 visitors and 1,887 exhibitors from 57 countries came together at the 30th A+A trade fair, the world’s leading platform for manufacturers in the field of industrial and occupational health and safety. The biennial trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, is therefore also the most important event for the uvex safety group. What did a visit to the trade fair hold in store? What innovations were presented there? And what impressions did visitors form at a trade fair like this?

Karina Morozova, Communications Assistant for Corporate Branding & Marketing at the uvex group, took a look around the trade fair. She describes A+A 2015 from the perspective of somebody whose working day is not directly focused on occupational health and safety.

Covering a total area of 650 square meters and featuring a high white wall adorned with the uvex brand name, the uvex stand at the A+A 2015 certainly caught the eye from a distance. We were on site at the trade fair on the first day, eager to hear what experiences and stories our colleague could share with us. Hall 3, in which the uvex stand was located, became quite busy shortly after the doors to the trade fair were opened. Thorsten Udet, Head of Marketing and Communication at the uvex safety group, revealed that a total of 120 uvex employees from all subsidiaries travelled to Düsseldorf to work on the largest stand at A+A 2015. Throngs of inquisitive visitors had their questions on the latest product innovations answered by uvex experts.

The uvex booth at the A+A 2015 in Düsseldorf

In comparison with adjacent exhibitors, uvex’s stand was very impressive. Tables and seating areas were dotted around the edges in between a few smaller product features, while new products were showcased in the centre of uvex’s exhibition space, demanding the attention of all visitors. “We have been working on a stand concept and corresponding framework programme for the A+A 2015 since the start of the year,” explains Tobias Schmid, who works on all things related to trade fairs in a marketing team headed up by Thorsten Udet. “When you see the completed stand, you soon realise that everything has been well designed. But the process involved in preparing the finished exhibition space is an long one. Everyone is pleased when it all finally comes together.”

The uvex employees working at the stand were easily recognisable from their uniforms: the men all wear a grey suit with a claret tie, while the ladies are dressed in black and white for the trade fair. This means visitors can easily spot those in the know when seeking information on uvex and our personal protective equipment (PPE). One such person is Jens Metzger, a Junior Product Manager in the Eyewear SBU. Despite this being his first time at the A+A, Jens was thrown in at the deep end and presented an exciting technological innovation: uvex has developed a prototype of smart safety goggles which can tell when they are being worn. Jens explained the technology step by step, taking a circular saw as an example: there is a sensor on the circular saw which is calibrated to the safety goggles. When a user puts on the safety goggles, a signal is transmitted to the circular saw. The machine can only be switched on once the goggles are being worn. If the user takes off the goggles, the machine stops instantly. The prototype has obviously not yet been released on the market, but it did attract the attention of many visitors. So, how did Jens feel when asked to present such an innovative technology at his very first trade fair? He answered: “It was really exciting! I’m working at the uvex stand today and tomorrow, but on the third day I should have a bit of time to look around and meet other exhibitors, although I’ll mainly be inspecting the competition!”

Junior Product Manager Jens Metzger is presenting eyewear innovations.

Naturally, we wanted to find out what the glass pyramid in the middle of the uvex stand was all about. A selection of colour-coordinated products were on show inside; a large infotable revealed that this related to the new uvex i-gonomics product system. We learned that modern PPE not only protects wearers, but should offer long-lasting and measurable relief to them during their work activities. This is a future-oriented approach in the face of demographic developments in Germany and can be seen as an attempt to maintain the population’s sound health.

Inside the glass pyramide: the uvex i-gonomics product system

Before heading off to visit other exhibitors across the nine halls, we took a peak at the brand new uvex safety group image film which was being projected on a wall at the entrance to the uvex stand. Although it will be a slightly different experience to watching it on a big screen, the video can also be viewed on Youtube:

After many hours spent exploring the fascinating innovations, a long and tiring day at the A+A 2015 drew to a close. We hope that our colleagues enjoyed a successful few days at the trade fair and are already eagerly anticipating the next instalment in 2017.