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Hi tech innovations in PPE

Hi-tech innovations that are making PPE better than ever

The days of heavy safety boots and hot, thick safety workwear are over. Thanks to a stream of new inventions in PPE technology, and the clever ways that manufacturers are combining them, there are some truly remarkable PPE products available nowadays that are safer, stronger and much more comfortable than ever before.

Here’s our guide to key innovations in the world of PPE.

Strong and flexible materials

There was a time when steel toe caps were necessary to protect workers' feet from falling debris or sharp objects. Gloves and workwear were often thick and clumsy, preventing tasks that required dexterity and causing workers to risk overheating.

Thanks to advancements in yarn and material technology now provide lighter, more breathable fabrics with extremely high cut resistance and strong protective qualities.

Nowadays, materials can be produced with a higher number of stitches included in each inch of material, resulting in fabrics that are lighter than comparable PPE but close-fitting and flexible, allowing workers to move limbs and fingers more freely. Added protection comes when the yarns are infused with strength-enhancing micro-particles resulting in fabrics that offer great er protection against hazards such as cuts or falling objects.

A good example are the Monti TechShell safety trainers, which are made from breathable, sturdy fabric which is resistant to abrasion, tears and water. The COFRA SOFT footbed is made of scented polyurethane, keeping the foot comfortable and absorbing impact energy.

Flexible workwear

New workwear is now made of more stretchable material, allowing for comfort but also reducing restrictions on movement, which improves safety levels for those doing physical tasks.

MASCOT® ADVANCED is a range of workwear that gives you functional details, high wear resistance and supreme comfort, for example. Portwest Stretch contains a cotton-rich and elastane mix with superior comfort and freedom of movement in their new lightweight and durable workwear range. Orn Workwear also produces workwear with elasticated waistbands and hemlines included to increase comfort. Our team can talk through which options might best suit your needs.

Hi-Vis PPE is also more comfortable and less restrictive now, thanks to innovations that mean the fabrics are elastic. There are also sustainable options available such as the Leo Workwear Ecoviz range. This new Tapely jacket, for example, is more comfortable, durable and sustainable than Hi-Vis jackets have been in the past. Ask our staff for details.

Leo Workwear Tapeley,  ISO 20471 Class 2 EcoViz PC Dual Colour 1/4 Zip Sweatshirt Orange/Navy. Ask our staff for details.
Leo Workwear Tapeley, ISO 20471 Class 2 EcoViz PC Dual Colour 1/4 Zip Sweatshirt Orange/Navy. Ask our staff for details.

Health and Safety ‘Fit Bit’ style devices

The latest PPE can be designed to monitor key health indicators in workers, such as heart rate and perspiration, alerting workers and their managers if they are over-exerting themselves. These sensors can be embedded into helmets, vests or wristbands. More advanced sensors may even be able to detect and correct workers’ posture, helping to avoid RSI or back problems.

Another useful application of this sensor technology is to use them in hard hats, to ensure that the worker is wearing it correctly and that the hat fits appropriately -- helping safety managers to ensure compliance with HSE regulations.

Location tracking devices

Understandably, these devices are not to be used to track employees without consent but if used appropriately, they can help workers to be alerted if another worker or vehicle is nearby, helping to avoid accidents. They can also be useful for lone workers. Over time, the data can help safety managers to identify areas in the workplace where accidents are most likely to occur.

Augmented reality goggles

These devices allow documents to be projected in front of workers as they work. They can be helpful in allowing workers to be able to refer to instructions or key safety guidance while still having both hands free to carry out a task, rather than having to juggle the task, and a device or paper document at the same time.

Air conditioning PPE

The issue of workwear that causes workers to overheat and lose fluid due to perspiration has long been an issue and there have been excellent innovations in producing breathable workwear that allows greater airflow as previously mentioned. A step further, however, are PPE solutions that include personal air-conditioning systems, such as vests that are threaded with tubes pumping compressed air that cools the wearer's body temperature to a healthy and comfortable level.

Our team have great experience in helping businesses find new and helpful PPE and safety solutions. Contact us at or call us on 01726 74264


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