Hot & Cool Products Steal the Show

BALTIMORE -- Walking the Safety 2010 Expo floor here, which for some reason seems more densely packed this year than usual, it is hard not to hear The Proclaimers’ one-hit-wonder refrain repeating over and over and over. You know the one: “I have walked 500 miles, and I will walk 500 more. . . .” Or maybe that’s just me. The point is, there’s a lot to see and do here in the Baltimore Convention Center, and if you walk around long enough, the impression is that every conceivable segment of the safety industry is represented here, and the number of devices, services, gadgets, and other accoutrements on display is impressive. Just to name a few, here are some of the booths we visited this morning and found worth proclaiming:

Encon Safety Products, a longtime exhibitor at ASSE’s annual event, gets my vote for the coolest-looking safety spectacle with the progressive design and unique styling of its new Veratti V6 on display at Booth 3005. Encon Marketing Director Mike Bolden noted while the product is designed for style, “you get a lot of protection out of it, and that’s the bottom line. Half this stuff is designed for coolness,” he added, with a nod toward the other wares the company has on display – including emergency showers and eyewash equipment, arc flash equipment, hearing protection, respiratory storage, and more – “but we’re really serious about the safety and protection value of all of it. Every piece of it is safety certified.” Bolden said the company spends more than $100,000 every year just for testing its products and making sure they’re certified by the Safety Equipment Institute. “It’s a lot,” he said, “but that’s just how important it is to us.” The Veratti V6 features a single, continuous lens configuration designed for maximized peripheral coverage, and a sleek, linear temple with ventilation. It comes in four lens options, all with Scratchcoat® coating.

Baltimore was warm and humid Monday, but thunderstorms and lower temperatures are predicted for today. The DueNorth tungsten-carbide, slip-on walking spikes exhibited by Sure Foot Corp. (Booth 1842) stood out in the expo because the company’s representative demonstrates them by walking confidently back and forth across a 300-pound block of ice. The block is melting, but a good supply of ice remained on Monday.

PlugsSafety (Booth 2537) of Stockton, Calif., showed a handy product introduced about eight months ago: Hard Hat ZIP-OUTS™, which are corded, replaceable ear plugs in a small zippered pouch that attaches to the inside crown of a hard hat. The wearer simply pulls the plugs out on their cord to wear or replace them and zips them back into the pouch when the job is done.

XSPlatforms (Booth 1747), a Dutch company that recently opened a manufacturing facility in California, brought a patented scaffold system to this expo that it hopes will take the U.S. market by storm after 15 years of successful use in Europe. The company’s representatives said this all-aluminum scaffolding is the only type that provides a guardrail as the scaffold is being erected, so the assemblers are never exposed to a fall hazard during the assembly. They said the system can be used up to 90 feet, and a full scaffold for a 90-foot job can be assembled in two days.

Over at the Sperian Protection booth (#2917), representatives for its flagship eyewear brand Uvex yesterday launched two brand new lens coatings for protective eyewear. Both of the products -- Supra-Dura anti-scratch coating and Uvextreme Plus anti-fog coating – are made to prolong lens life and improve worker safety. The Uvex team said Sperian developed the coatings after conducting extensive research among safety managers, who they said voiced a need for overall durability of safety eyewear. Uvex added that the Supra-Dura coating provides five times more scratch resistance than others on the market, measured using the Bayer Abrasion Test. “Uvex is at the forefront of lens coating innovation, and these new coatings are a true breakthrough in the protective eyewear industry,” said David Iannelli, senior product manager for Sperian Eye & Face Protection.

Westex Inc. provided perhaps the most interesting 15 minutes of respite from the long walks this convention center requires. Yesterday and today, the company offered a place to actually sit and watch a 15-minute seminar on arc flash and flash fire, complete with stunning footage of its flame-resistant fabrics in action. The video seminar provided a flash fire overview, fundamentals of arc flash and body burn, and live arc flash testing, plus segments on the NFPA 70E electrical safety standard, engineered FR fabrics, and keys to implementing an FR Clothing program, all of which answered the question, “Why is FR clothing needed?”

After that, it was more walking. And, undoubtedly, there are miles yet to go….

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