“Colourful PPE” (part 3 of 3): How useful is PPE in company colours – and is that even possible?

A company’s corporate identity (CI) is a bit like its business card. Ideally, the writing, logo and especially colour will be the same across all media. In many fields of work and sectors, it’s completely normal that work clothing gives a uniform image – this creates recognition value and strengthens team spirit.

In this, the last of three blog articles on the topic of ‘colour’, we ask what influence corporate identity has – and can have – on the selection of colours for personal protective equipment. Don’t forget to read part 1 and part 2 of our colour series!

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Twisting, stumbling, slipping: What happens? Why? And what can be done to prevent it?

According to the accident statistics of the German Social Accident Insurance Association (DGUV) from 2016, many accidents are caused by trips and slips when walking. These are the so-called SSF accidents (stumbles, slips and falls). The analysis shows that the proportion of female accident victims has significantly increased and also that there has been a sharp growth in new accident annuities. The fact that more and more people are suffering irreversible impairment to their ability to work is a powerful demonstration of the importance of this topic. It’s reason enough for us to explain in detail the basics of stumbling, twisting and slipping – and to explain the role that safety shoes play and what kind of other influencing factors may also be present.

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“Colourful PPE” (part 2 of 3): Do the (usually blue) dungarees always have to be blue?

Dungarees. Boiler suits. Everyone knows them, many wear them and many have surely asked themselves at least once: how did the blue boiler suit actually come to be? And are there perhaps other dominant colours in other types of PPE, too? Without giving too much away: from ‘evolved historically’ to ‘legally prescribed’ to ‘psychologically valuable’, there’s a lot more to the colour of personal protective equipment than meets the eye.

In this, the second of three blog entries on the topic of ‘colour’, we focus on the question of why particular parts of our personal protective equipment (but also our everyday clothes) have particular colours. The last article in the series will focus mainly on company colours and aspects of fashion. Watch this space!

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ESD-Antistatique

The difference between antistatic and ESD – a safety footwear example

There is often confusion between the terms ESD and antistatic, and not just when it comes to safety footwear. While one includes the other, to deduce the same is true in reverse is generally incorrect. Although both terms refer to contact resistance, there are fundamental differences between the two. Confused? Worry not. We are going to shed some light on the matter below.  Read More

safety footwear and ergonomics

Safety footwear and ergonomics

ergonomie_schuh_300pxIn 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.

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Regulating balance when on the ground

Back pain often starts in the feet. Suitable insoles can help those afflicted to restore a sense of harmony to their bodies.

medicare_fuss_cmy_300pxAs architects and engineers know only too well, cracks in roof structures are generally an indication of problems with static. This usually begins from the ground up. The human musculoskeletal system is certainly slightly more complex than the average building, but the principle remains the same. The source of back and neck pain is often not to be found anywhere along the spine, but in the place where our bodies are in contact with the ground, namely our feet.
From an anatomical perspective, standing and walking place great strain on the body. These actions are not just felt on the heels, toes and balls of the feet, but their effects are also dispersed among many other sensitive areas. The receptors in the feet play a major role in regulating balance, swiftly registering uneven ground and helping us to adjust. If we accept that the human foot is a work of art, composed of 26 bones in addition to ligaments and muscles, then it’s clear that as a general rule, only specialists such as orthopaedists, podiatrists, orthotists, chiropractors and osteopaths can really understand the complexities of the foot as a whole.

 

medicare_skelett_cmy_300pxWarning signs from irregular strain

Chain reactions feature prominently in this area. Even the slightest deviation from ideal conditions can result in large differences for those affected. One of the factors in play here is the shape of a foot. This alone can be sufficient to send warning signs high up the back and into the neck when the feet are subjected to irregular strains. In this way, flat-footed people run the risk of harming their pelvis, as this causes it to gradually shift forward. For people with hollow feet, the trendmedicare_HWS_cmy_300px is reversed with the pelvis likely to shift backward.

Alongside differing foot shapes, misaligned feet also represent another cause of back problems. Frequent, long-lasting movements on hard surfaces can cause the arch of the foot to flatten out considerably, fatiguing the muscle structures. In addition, there is also a widespread tendency to point feet outwards in order to improve stability. Should both these issues occur simultaneously, there is a serious risk of severe, long-term back problems. This is a particular cause for concern if displaying strain behaviour, when the ratio of pressure to load between the heel, outside of the foot and big toe is no longer ideally balanced and in proportion.

 

 

 

 

Suitable insoles offer a solution

So, what are the options? If the foot static changes, the body responds by modifying the positioning of the legs. The spinal column also shifts to correspond with the changes elsewhere, which can only be a negative thing. The muscle structure of the affected person falls victim to this new strain. The consequence is tension which can result in long-term posture problems and is often also the reason for chronic back pain often associated with this.6499_904_300px
Is this fate? No. This type of back pain has traditionally been successfully treated with insoles. People who walk with insoles in their shoes ensure that their feet are gradually realigned into a healthier position, thereby supporting the body in regaining its ideal equilibrium. This also applies to wearing shoes, particularly occupation safety footwear. Strain on the feet can be particularly high in the workplace, because employees are often on their feet on hard surfaces such as factory floors for long periods. The important thing to consider here is that the insoles should not just be perfectly adapted to the individual’s foot contours, but also their gait.

 

Passive and active soles

There are in fact two styles of insoles – passive and active. Passive insoles support the wearer by fixing their feet in the optimal position, thereby passively ensuring the ideal posture. In other words, this means correcting possible deformations or postural issues by raising and propping the arch of the foot. Active insoles (also known as “proprioceptive” or “sensomotoric” insoles” are primarily used when the foot and any possible misaligning, influenced by the movement of muscle and tendon tensions, should (can) be corrected. This happens using a neurophysiological stimulation of the sensorial cell on the soles of the feet. Long-standing irritation of these receptors can help to stabilise and re-harmonise the entire muscle structure of the body, including all the way up to the neck and jaw, when applied over a considerable period of time. Furthermore, should the gait be successfully realigned, those painful back problems could soon be a thing of the past.

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Would you like to discover more about this subject?
– The uvex safety group offers “sensomotoric insoles” to be worn with safety footwear. If you have any questions, please email expertenblog@uvex.de and we will be happy to help.

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