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Rewarding innovation in PPE

Producers of outstanding personal protective equipment received well-deserved recognition.

It takes creativity, an in-depth understanding of industry issues and the determination to make ideas work, to introduce a genuinely new item of personal protective equipment (PPE) into a crowded marketplace. SATRA’s PPE Innovation Awards for 2012 acknowledged companies creating such products, which bring practical benefits to the user, the supply chain and the environment.

The SATRA PPE Innovation Awards were an intrinsic part of the inaugural Professional Clothing Awards ceremony, which took place following a Gala Dinner held at the Ricoh Arena in the English Midlands city of Coventry. There were a number of key categories within the awards; the winners received crystal trophies and, on a number of occasions, certificates were presented in recognition of products which the judges felt deserved to be highly commended.

“Innovation has always been at the core of SATRA activities, and is as important today as it was at our inception nearly 100 years ago,” said SATRA Chief Executive, Austin Simmons who, along with event organiser Yvette Ashby, introduced the ceremony. “As a research and technology organisation, we work both independently and by collaboration with partners to develop ideas and products to benefit the industrial sectors we serve.

“SATRA’s greatest asset is its team of highly dedicated scientists, mathematicians and engineers who, between them, have considerable technical knowledge and experience in finding appropriate, often unique, solutions to problems,” continued Mr Simmons. “In the field of PPE, SATRA has worked on a number of new products that have successfully been brought to market.”

The winners

Products with diverse PPE applications were entered into the seven SATRA PPE Innovation Awards categories. After the judging panel of Tom Bayes (SATRA Head of Research), Pete Doughty (SATRA Business Manager for Protective Clothing and Safety Products), Dr Andy Harland (Director of the Sports Technology Institute and Head of the Sports Technology Research Group, Loughborough University) and Eddie Morland (Chief Executive, Health & Safety Laboratory) had carefully considered all the entries, the winners were chosen.

“We are really proud of this achievement, particularly considering the level of the competition...”

New Balance was successful in the ‘Best innovation in sports and leisure PPE’ category, with its MU 460 protective umpire shoe, and Páramo was highly commended for its Aspira pro jacket.
The award for ‘Best innovation in security and response PPE’ was presented to Latchways for its R20 rescue descent control device.

The winner of ‘Best innovation in occupational PPE’ was a kneepad produced by CL7, which incorporates leaf spring technology, with Trojan’s fire-retardant soft shell being highly commended.

A protective glove from Sealskinz was announced as ‘Best innovation in PPE components and accessories’.
The accolade of ‘Best innovation in safety footwear’ was given to the Magnum Multicam boot with Crye Precision fabric, and the Jalette safety boot with rotating anti-slip sole device was highly commended.
OutDry received the award for ‘Best contribution to PPE production efficiency’ for the company’s breathable membrane technology.

The prestigious ‘PPE Innovation of the year’ award was won by Latchways for its R20 rescue descent control device. The company also received an additional prize – the opportunity to undertake discounted research and product testing at the SATRA Technology Centre, or the possibility of creating a partnership to develop a product or products for commercial exploitation.

Appreciating the accolade

The final word should go to one of the winners, who enthused about receiving recognition for his company’s PPE product:

“I would like to say how we are pleased with the award we have received,” remarked OutDry’s Managing Director, Matteo Morlacchi after the presentation. “We are really proud of this achievement, particularly considering the level of the competition and the high reputation of other companies who have received the award. It was a really special and exciting night for me.”

Photograph shows Jubilant winners at the 2012 Professional Clothing Awards, including the recipients of the SATRA PPE Innovation Awards.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 36 of the June 2012 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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