Last Wednesday the PCIAW® attended the Health and Safety Event in Birmingham, observing industry trends in workwear and growing the association’s network.
The NEC was bustling with activity, featuring plenty of exhibitors from across the professional clothing industry. The PCIAW® had great conversations with a number of exhibitors, including The Department for International Trade, Mascot, Honeywell, Puma Safety, JSP, Unigloves, Skechers, Elka Rainwear, Traffi, U-Power, Leo Workwear, Haix Group, MSA, the International Fire and Safety Journal, and the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers.
The event indicated two key trends in the future of the workwear and PPE markets:
- Fashionable workwear inspired by contemporary retail and sportswear garments
- Transitioning from partial to completely circular product ranges
PCIAW® attended a handful of keynote sessions too, the highlight of which was the mid-day eye and hearing protection seminar. Matthew Judson, Director of Respiratory & Technical Support, gave an illuminating talk about the standards for eyewear protection and the material technologies which enable some eyewear to withstand impacts at speeds as high as 190 ms-1.
There are also several developments in filters for eyewear protection, owing to a new understanding of the dangers posed by prolonged exposure to sunlight, welding torches and low-light environments. Shading lenses are now readily available in safety spectacles, while amber lenses can amplify vision in low-light environments. These lenses provide greater comfort as well as protection, in addition to preventing photokeratitis (snow blindness) and Pterygium (excess cornea growth).
Hearing protection has also developed along similar lines, with various safety ratings ideal for different noise levels. It’s important that workers are provided with the appropriate rating of safety equipment, as lenses that are too dark or ear defenders that are too quiet can impede a worker’s awareness, putting them at risk.
Overall, the event was a brilliant opportunity for building connections within the professional clothing industry, and seeing where workwear and PPE design are moving toward in the future.
Declan Osborn, Editor at PCIAW®, comments: “It was great to meet and speak to the businesses at the forefront of Footwear, Workwear and PPE design. I was impressed by the leaps and strides many exhibitors have made in producing their products more sustainably, and I was equally excited to see how workwear designers have been finding inspiration in modern retail designs.”
“The PCIAW® is always looking to support innovation in sustainability, technology, and design, and we remain positive about the future of the industry based on what we’ve seen at the Health and Safety Event.”