GB flag iconENCN flag iconZH

Webinars and Online Resources

PPE on show at the A+A Fair

Reporting on the success of this international showcase for personal protective equipment companies.

by Christine Anscombe

For many years, SATRA has exhibited at the four-day A+A international trade fair held in Düsseldorf, Germany – a show dedicated to safety, security and health at work. This event provides the opportunity to meet existing and potential customers to discuss testing and certification enquiries relating to personal protective equipment (PPE). A+A is widely regarded as the largest global exhibition for the safety, security and health at work sector.

Members of SATRA staff welcomed visitors to the stand

The latest edition of this two-yearly event was held from 5th to 8th November. Once the scale and diversity of the fair is observed, it becomes apparent why companies book their stand space and start planning their next attendance as soon as an exhibition has finished. In fact, a waiting list for exhibitors is not uncommon, such is the prominence of A+A.

A number of enquiries for safety footwear testing and certification were received from China and Taiwan

There was an increase in visitor numbers for the 2013 show from 60,000 in 2011 to 63,000, with more than one in four visitors attending from outside Germany. Since 2009, a ‘partner country’ has been aligned to A+A with the aim of assisting exhibitors to source contacts in order to open up a potential new market. The country chosen for the 2009 show was Russia, with Poland being selected to partner the 2011 fair.
Turkey was chosen as the partner country for the 2013 event. With a working population of just over 27 million, it is considered by many analysts to provide great user potential, particularly in the personal protective equipment and corporate fashion sectors. Turkish Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Security, Halil Etyemez, spoke at the show of the efforts being made in his country to improve health and safety at work by means of a stricter legal framework and occupational safety provisions. In cooperation with the Ministry, A+A organiser Messe Düsseldorf is planning to run the inaugural Turkish Occupational Safety + Health Exhibition (TOS+H Expo) in Istanbul, from 5th to 7th May 2014.


The 1953 SATRA Everest boot attracted considerable interest and discussion

The SATRA stand was very busy throughout the fair and was staffed by technical experts from both the UK
and China offices. This proved to be very helpful when dealing with the increasing number of enquiries for safety footwear testing and certification from China and Taiwan. There is always the question of what SATRA should put on display on a stand at these events in order to differentiate our organisation from companies who supply PPE products. As we manufacture laboratory test equipment, this was an obvious choice. However, as 2013 marked the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Everest and the fact that SATRA designed and manufactured the boots worn by the British Expedition, this was an opportunity for the rarely seen item to be displayed to an audience which would appreciate this type of footwear. One complete boot and one that had been cut to show a cross section were displayed. These became a great point of interest and discussion during the fair, with a number of visitors taking souvenir photographs.

Live demonstrations recreated scenarios where PPE is vital

There was a positive atmosphere at the event, with many exhibitors saying that the show had been beneficial to their businesses. This may be a reflection of a recent survey, which found that the annual market for PPE in Germany stands at approximately €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion). This corresponds to growth between 2004 and 2012 of 35 per cent.

In total, there were 1,600 exhibitors from 55 nations presenting the entire range of products and services for personal protection and healthy working. What was particularly noticeable when walking around the exhibition was the trend towards making a protective product that was also fashionable, comfortable, contemporary and ultimately more likely to be worn without resistance by the end-user.

The next major PPE event is the SATRA PPE Innovation Awards, which will be held at Birmingham’s NEC on 1st April.

How can we help?

Please email for information on SATRA’s testing services for personal protective equipment products and components.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 10 of the January 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

Other articles from this issue ยป