#NSCexpo Product Round-Up: Newcomers, Shiny New Products

Our time at the 2015 National Safety Congress & Expo was spent looking at a range of new products—both familiar and new.

ATLANTA -- The show floor at the 2015 National Safety Council Congress & Expo was filled with companies and products (gloves, apparel, and fall protection, mostly) that are instantly recognizable to anyone in the industry, which wasn't much of a surprise. What was a surprise, however, were the number of first- and second-time exhibitors that were entering the safety market. Here are just a few of the things the OH&S team saw during our time in Atlanta:

D3O, a UK-based company, manufactures "smart materials" dedicated to impact protection and shock absorption. Previously in the motorcycle industry, D3O is entering the safety industry by producing protective gloves and workwear solutions. D3O's booth featured an impressive demo of the technology used in safety products.

Capital Safety offered daily demos of its latest product, a self-rescue device for workers who have fallen from heights, and its new parent company, 3M -- having won two of the OH&S 2015 New Product of the Year awards, for respiratory protection and hearing protection -- had one of the busiest booths in the expo as conference attendees checked out its latest products. Not to be outdone was MSA, winner of three NPOY awards: Fall protection/prevention, head protection, and protective apparel.

Ironclad Performance Wear was displaying new protective glove lines and showcasing its effort to get a back-of-the-hand impact protection consensus standard adopted so customers can be confident their hand protection choices will match the impact hazards that exist at their work sites. And a new AED training tool was available at the American Red Cross booth.

Another relative newcomer to the safety market in the expo was KEEN Utility. While the company has been around for a long time, this was only its second appearance at the NSC show. KEEN's ability to manufacture a unique steel toe for its shoes gives end users a more natural and comfortable fit. KEEN's booth showcased a number of different shoe models, from heavy-duty shoes modeled after hiking boots to steel-toed sandals.

Finally, our stop at Westex by Miliken was all about FR apparel. The new AllOut technology couples FR with wind and water resistance. This allows the fabric to be safe while also being lightweight and comfortable. A pair of FR jeans I looked at were comfortable and manageable.

We saw too many products and stopped by too many booths to count, and these are just a few of the ones we saw along the way. We're excited to see what innovations are on display next year at NSC 2016 in Anaheim, Calif.

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