The Perfect PPE Fit Is Out There… Using Advanced Technology To Properly Fit Men & Women Workers

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The Perfect PPE Fit Is Out There Using Advanced Technology To Properly Fit Men and Women Workers

Developing technology is a key component of the industrial world – to automate, streamline, simplify and advance.

Developing technology is a key component of the industrial world — to automate, streamline, simplify and advance.

Forward-thinking companies look for innovative ways to incorporate new options of technology as significant differentiators to elevate above the competition, progress beyond the past, and grow in recognition, authority and revenue.

And to provide greater fitting PPE for both men and women.

PPE in 3D with AI

The complexity of body dimensions combined with individual differences demands the availability of advanced technology to measure for an accurate fit of any and all PPE. Historic 2-dimensional measuring devises are no longer sufficient and a limited-time in-store try-on to “feel” the perfect fit has been proven wrong by an increase in return rates and a depletion in the product supplier’s margins to accommodate that hassle-free service.

Now digital 3-dimensional measuring devises utilizing AI technology are offered to capture exact body measurements to accurately fit to each individual employee.

Foot scanners can capture up to 20 points of individual foot data like degree of pronation, weight distribution, pressure points, exact length, width, instep and arch height, girth of midfoot, and more. This data can be used to recommend the perfect fitting work shoe for any foot.

It introduces a transformational innovation to supplying and buying PPE.

Step Up to Tech

We’ve come a long way in workplace safety standards. But regulations can only do so much. Ultimately, true safety—represented by less incidents and top-performing physically uninhibited employees—is only realized when a company and its workforce place high value on it.

Companies that adopt advanced ways to supply their employees accurate fit PPE will display a dedication to personal safety as well as improve their work culture.

If It Doesn't Fit, It's Not PPE

Obviously, the whole purpose of personal protective equipment is to keep employees safe, but the consequences of poor fitting PPE can be detrimental. When work boots don’t accurately fit, they will cause whole body pain from misalignment and fatigue from muscles working harder than necessary. Gloves that don’t fit can cause clumsiness, loss of agility and poor grip that lead to accidents and poor performance. Ordering common sizes of protective garments in bulk will result in an employee wearing PPE that is too large and a potential injury hazard around machinery.

OSHA states that, “If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed.” When the equipment becomes the hazard, it’s no longer personal protection.

Men and Women Fit Different

Women currently make up nearly 30 percent of the manufacturing workforce and nearly 11 percent of the construction workforce.

The rise of women in the industrial workforce is bringing awareness to the dangers of poor fit by highlighting the lack of availability of designed-for-women PPE.

Studies show that female feet are not simply scaled-down versions of male feet but differ in shape. They have a lower ankle height, smaller ball circumference, higher and narrower instep, higher toe height, narrower heel and ball width, wider forefoot and shorter heel to ball length. Because women naturally have wider hips than men, the angle that their foot strikes the ground is so different that support in the arch area is needed.

However, traditionally for safety shoes, a woman’s main option was to wear a man’s boot 2 sizes smaller. A lot of dominant manufacturers would also simply produce a men’s style in shorter lengths, even though a men’s style is usually wider for the same length, and then think that making it pink made it more feminine or stylish. The whole pink-it-and-shrink-it concept is a great example of ignoring proper fit.

Fortunately, many safety footwear manufacturers and brands started to legitimize the rising contribution of women in the manual labor force by designing and constructing footwear for women. After all, the form used to define the shape of the shoe. However, selection and style was lacking, thereby still giving women limited options for a proper fit.

Selection Matters

Along with innovative tech to get personal measurements, having the greatest selection of work shoes to align with those personal metrics is key.

Whether a woman likes to buy different work shoe styles and colors to match her day or she’s just wanting to find that one perfect fit to wear every day, selection is critical. And men are no different. Participation rates demonstrate that style and colors matter in whether they choose to wear their supplied footwear. The more options of best-fitting styles the personal 3D scan measurements can align to, the more likely workers will have something they want to wear — and actually do wear.

A number of women-designed PPE brands has flooded the market from Juno Jones to Xena Workwear, Covergalls, Seraphina Safety, Embher and Dovetail Workwear, just to name a few. These brands all offer their own flair of stylish product options that are true to fit any woman and work as hard as she does. Most were started and are run by women who personally felt the disparaging need for accurate fits in women’s PPE and stepped in and up to do something about it.

Finding the Perfect Fit

The greatest selection of PPE is found online as retail stores are limited in shelf space to carry a huge stock of styles, sizes and newer, lesser-known brands. Rural areas are scarce in their number and variety of retail stores.

Some may still think finding the right fit online can be difficult since you can’t try it on, but with 3D tech and AI supplying personal measurements, the problem is solved.  Technology has proven an even better fit than actually trying it on in a store.

For employers, making sure required PPE fits both men and women properly is essential to their positive physical health, enabling optimum job performance and acknowledging their valuable contribution to your company. Implementing a program that offers both advanced tech personal measuring and product selection will provide your company with the perfect fit.

Product Showcase

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. Read More

  • SECUPRO MARTEGO

    FOR HIGHEST DEMANDS. A cutting tool in which function and design go hand in hand. Meet the SECUPRO MARTEGO, our prize-winning squeeze-grip safety knife with fully automatic retractable blade for safety. • Ergonomically friendly trigger mechanism to engage the blade • Durable body made of aluminum • Safer alternative to fixed blade utility knives for general cutting tasks • 9 mm Cutting depth • Easy, tool free blade change Dimensions: L 6.10" L x 0.71" W x 1.91" H Weight: 3.70 oz Cutting Depth: 9 mm Read More

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. Read More

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