uvex i-gonomics: innovation through alleviation

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 general, fulfilling the relevant national and international safety standards has now become a matter of course in the area of personal protective equipment (PPE) – it is practically the norm itself. This means that users are paying ever more attention to the other properties of PPE products. The PPE customer of today demands maximum safety AND optimum comfort, with design also playing an increasingly important role. Cumbersome safety footwear, stiff safety gloves and unflattering clothing are a thing of the past. They limited freedom of movement, hindered wearers in carrying out their work and there was a distinct risk of long-term damage to health.

A product system for measurable stress reduction

uvex developed the “i-gonomics” product system to reconcile traditional safety features with optimal wearer comfort. “i” stands for “innovation” and “gonomics” for “ergonomics”. The aim of i-gonomics is to harmonise product performance and the capabilities of the human body. In other words, to manufacture PPE which not only protects the wearer, but also offers long-lasting stress reduction in working environments. This helps us advance our own mission of “protecting people” in the best-possible way.

Example: relief index of uvex K2

In order that the wearer comfort of products can be measured and compared, uvex has been working with a “relief index”. This is calculated using three criteria, the average of which reveals the product’s relief index value. This allows us to provide maximum comparability, even between different product types and manufacturers. uvex is scientifically supported in the measurement process by the Test and Research Institute (PFI) Pirmasens, the Hohenstein Institutes and Chemnitz University of Technology.

Three pillars of the relief index

Stress reduction is measured on the basis of three different criteria: force, weight and clima. In doing so, uvex of course takes into account the fundamental differences between different product types – the testing methods used for the different criteria vary accordingly.

Measuring energy absorption in the heel area of uvex 2

  • The force criterion assesses the force exerted upon wearers of the respective product – either as a single value (in the form of different force or rigidity measurements) or in conjunction with other measurements, such as the absorption figure of hearing protection products. From this, it is possible to draw conclusions regarding the fit and adaptability of a product.

Weight of uvex K2

  • The weight index assesses the absolute or relative weight of a product. Generally, this is the overall weight, which represents a key element of wearer comfort.

Testing the anti-fog performance of uvex u-sonic

  • Conversely, the clima index is more heavily oriented toward a product’s tangible features. The testing methods and instruments used vary accordingly. A crucial factor in this is the product’s performance under a variety of climatic conditions. The key indicators of this are AntiFog performance (uvex u-sonic, uvex pheos visor), heat build-up performance (uvex K2) and moisture-wicking ability (uvex heat shell, uvex phynomic lite, uvex 2).

The mean value, generated from the three factors (force, weight and clima), constitutes the respective product’s value on the uvex relief index. This is calculated on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0. The upper bound is based on a best-case scenario of what could feasibly be achieved in terms of the technology currently available.

Six products, one system

The uvex i-gonomics range consists of products primarily developed with ergonomics in mind. All these products will be presented to the public for the first time as the i-gonomics product system at the A+A 2015 exhibition. The products combine to bring together a wide range of outstanding product features which fully comply with all relevant safety standards, all the while offering practical wearer comfort, even when worn for extended periods. These include:

1. uvex u-sonic wide-vision goggles: perfect combination of protection and ergonomics

Maximum protection for the eyes, with good temperature control and an exceptional fit that prevents uncomfortable pressure points. The uvex u-sonic wide-vision goggles bring together these properties in a single product. The focus of this year’s uvex i-gonomics product system is to permanently reduce stress placed on wearers effectively: the uvex u-sonic achieves this to perfection. The safety goggles ensure fatigue-free vision, even under difficult external conditions. Different requirements brought together in one exceptional design: the protective, ergonomic and comfort functions of the uvex u-sonic represent the properties of the i-gonomics concept at their best.
View uvex u-sonic on our website

2. uvex K2 earmuffs: protect against severe noise pollution to ensure optimum productivity

Weight, fit and heat build-up: the uvex K2 earmuffs offer comprehensive quality on all fronts and relief to wearers in very noisy working environments. The earmuffs are extremely lightweight, feature a convenient length adjustment to ensure they are properly positioned on the head in addition to soft ear cushions and a headband to provide a largely pressure-free fit. These features come as standard in the uvex K series earmuffs range. A key component of this product family, the uvex K2 is distinguished within the range by its weight of just 218g in addition to proportional capsule size. These ergonomic and highly sophisticated features have led to the earmuffs being selected to form part of the uvex i-gonomics product system.
View uvex K2 on our website

3. uvex pheos visor helmet and visor combination: a strong functional unit

Two products, one system: this is what the uvex pheos visor helmet/visor combination offers. This means that the uvex pheos visor is representative of the strength of the i-gonomics concept. Different product components are brought together to form a single, strong functional unit to meet user requirements of offering reliable protection, being easy to put on and keeping interference to a minimum. Lightweight, comfortable and non-fogging: the uvex pheos visor is a combination of a safety helmet and visor which offers wearers superior ergonomic comfort.
View uvex pheos helmet and visor combination on our website

4. uvex heat shell protection clothing: prevents onset of fatigue even when worn for extended periods

PPE must comply with an increasing number of requirements for heat and flame protection. This means it tends to be uncomfortably heavy and therefore burdensome on the body. Wearers are therefore subjected not only to additional strain while working, but they also tire more quickly which, in turn, affects their performance and productivity. As a key component of the i-gonomics product system, uvex heat shell has tackled this problem head on and found a solution: its consistent combination of material and design is a winning formula. Its combination of outstanding heat protection with an incredibly lightweight design means that the uvex heat shell is ideally suited to a wide range of application areas including for steelworkers, energy suppliers and in plant construction.

5. uvex phynomic life safety gloves: the lightest in its class

The era of badly fitting, inflexible safety gloves is fortunately long gone – but now, the uvex phynomic lite is taking your wellbeing to a whole new level: minimal weight, perfect fit and optimum breathability ensure excellent wearer comfort and better performance. They are especially suitable for applications which call for fine motor skills, as they ensure that the wearer maintains their dexterity, regardless of the conditions. This means the uvex phynomic lite consistently relieves wearers during all working activities. It is for precisely this reason that it has been selected to form part of the i-gonomics product system. Outstanding protection and wearer comfort: the uvex phynomic lite safety gloves protect hands and products alike, all the while preventing onset of fatigue even when worn for extended periods.
View uvex phynomic lite on our website

6. uvex 2 safety shoes: always one step ahead

The new uvex 2 safety shoe is a robust all-rounder for medium applications. It takes up the mantle from the uvex 1, which had fundamentally redefined our understanding of the performance and design of a modern safety shoe: the uvex 2 thrives in more demanding areas of application and sets new standards in terms of stress reduction, wearer comfort and ergonomics. With its deeper tread and PU scuffcap, the uvex 2 in protection class S2/S3 is even more robust than the uvex 1. As such, it is ideal for medium applications in the skilled trade and chemical industries, as well as for work at airports. The uvex 2 copes effortlessly with the mechanical stress exerted by kneeling or when confronted by wet and uneven surfaces without compromising on optimum wearer comfort – it is a combination never before experienced in such environments. Progress has also been made with regard to the aesthetic appeal of the shoe: the judging panel at the German Design Awards 2016 gave the uvex 2 a special mention for its sporty, elegant design in combination with its exceptional functionality.
View uvex 2 on our website

How does this benefit you?

As our customer, you benefit from the relief index in several ways when selecting PPE products. While the relief index value offers a clear estimate of a product’s ergonomic performance, the different scores for force, weight and clima offer a precise measurement of specific aspects of the product. i-gonomics measures the benefits and aspects of a product based on scientifically proven information provided by independent testing institutes. These play a vital role in your purchase decision.

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