New Challenge Launched to Improve Protective Gear

New Challenge Launched to Improve Protective Gear

NIOSH teamed up with HeroX to innovate ideas for better-fitting gear for all.

Protective gear is designed to keep workers safe from hazard and injury. They can range in size, from XS to XXL to one-size-fits all. Unfortunately, for many, these sizes do not fit correctly or work. Ill-fitting gear can leave workers exposed to possible injuries and unable to perform their job safely.

To reduce the problem of poor-fitting gear, NIOSH has teamed up with HeroX, a marketplace for crowdsourcing, to start a challenge to improve protective gear. According to a press release, the challenge, called The NIOSH Protective Clothing Challenge—Leaving No Body Unprotected, is to innovate protective gear to be inclusive of everyone. It specifically focuses on medical gowns, certain firefighting gear and protective coveralls. 

“Access to properly fitting protective clothing is critical,” said Dr. Maryann D’Alessandro, Director of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory at NIOSH in the press release. “Poorly fitting protective clothing can compromise safety and performance for people as they work, which can result in injuries to workers and risks to those around them. Every worker deserves access to properly fitting protective clothing. Our vision is that this Challenge sources innovative ideas to help improve safety for all workers.”

According to HeroX’s website, up to five teams or individuals can win, with up to five monetary prizes available. Anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to participate, some restrictions apply. Submissions close June 30, 2022, and winners will be announced September 8, 2022.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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