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?
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.
The uvex i-gonomics PPE product system perfectly combines key safety aspects with outstanding ergonomics, as well as ensuring these are scientifically measurable for all products and also different manufacturers. Read on to discover more about i-gonomics, the products it includes and why it helps us live up to our “protecting people” claim.
In relation to work, the term ergonomics is understood to cover optimising working conditions, operational processes and the workspace in order to protect employees from fatigue and dangers.
The Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs cites problems relating to the musculoskeletal system as a common cause of work incapacity and early retirement (due to reduced ability to work). The majority of problems relate to the joints and spine. Among other factors, the occurrence of these illnesses is directly linked to the type of movement, energy expended, loads, posture, vibration and fatigue. To combat this, in the first instance it is necessary to adjust work processes, workspaces and conditions – all this falls under the general umbrella of ergonomics in the workplace. In working environments where safety and protective clothing must be worn, a further factor that has not thus far been paid much attention is safety footwear, which has a great influence on the body, movement and load. Studies* have shown that in addition to plantar pressure distribution, the construction and design of shoes also affects the body from joint angles in the legs all the way up to upper body posture. Accordingly, it is possible to alter the muscle activation and the strain that is placed on the different areas.
The development of safety shoes is today not only determined by the requirements of the areas of application, but also by technical innovations, ergonomic and medical aspects, fashion trends and sustainability issues. The new and already award-winning uvex 1 safety shoe series provides an integral response to these requirements.
Protection and ergonomics
Safety shoes are primarily intended to protect. This covers not only direct accident protection, but also the reduction of strains which impact on the wearer during work and may lead to fatigue or gradual physical impairment and falling productivity. The result is reduced concentration and an increasing risk of an accident. Ergonomic design and construction is therefore the key when it comes to improving wear comfort for safety shoes and contributing to prevention and health protection.
uvex 1 safety shoes protect and support the natural movement of the human body. The pressure and stresses on the musculoskeletal system at work are reduced on the basis of the latest physiological research and innovative technology, optimising wearer comfort.
The ergonomic lightweight construction combined with the new leather-free uvex monoskin shaft design offers the perfect balance between protection and comfort. 100 g weight reduction compared to the light and successful bestseller uvex motion style takes the wear comfort of a safety shoe up yet another notch.
The uvex 1 multilayer shock absorption system based on an ergonomically designed, double-layered PU outsole and a comfort insole with optimum shock absorption in the heel and the front of the foot minimises stress on the musculoskeletal system and offers pure walking comfort. The energy absorption in the heel is twice that required by EN ISO 20345.
Fit and orthopaedic adjustment
Lasting wearer comfort based on a good fit and dynamic individual adjustability to the foot. The flexible uvex multiple-width system from width 10 to 14 offers an economical adjustment option for different foot widths. The elastic uvex IAS quick-locking system stabilises the foot securely, but still allows the necessary flexibility, as every foot swells up and then contracts again over the course of the day. The elastic uvex IAS quick-locking system stabilises the foot securely, but still allows the necessary flexibility, as every foot swells up and then contracts again over the course of the day. The light, non-metal, anatomically formed uvex xenova third generation toe cap guarantees space for the toes and prevents cold bridges. In addition, the entire uvex 1 series is available with orthopaedic adjustments certified in accordance with BGR 191 and ÖNORM Z 1259.
However, safety features and comfort are only two core components for optimum protection. Design is also important, as only safety shoes that look appealing will be worn and be able to fulfil their protective function in the case of an emergency. The uvex 1 safety shoe, which will be presented as a world innovation at this year’s A+A 2013 from 5 to 8 November, has already won international design awards.
The uvex 1 safety shoe range covers shoes, boots and sandals in various designs and colours in protection classes S1 SRC and S2 SRC in sizes from 35 to 52. Attractive ladies models are produced on an extra ladies production line. The uvex 1 safety shoes meet the ESD requirements and are free from substances harmful to the wetting properties of lacquers.
The new uvex 1 safety shoe series combines ergonomics, comfort, design and sustainability in one innovative product concept.