When safety professionals were asked about their visions for the future of PPE, fit, comfort and style took precedence. Forty-two percent of respondents said they would like to see PPE that automatically adjusts to fit different body types, hands, heads, faces, etc. Next was PPE with customizable style and design options, so that workers could select PPE based on their own individual tastes and safety requirements (32 percent). This was followed by PPE designed with integrated climate-control features, providing cooling or warmth as needed (15 percent).
The impact of customization and style on PPE compliance was further underscored by the response to another question. When asked if customizable or individualized style and design options would help increase PPE compliance, 87 percent of respondents said that it would.
Safety professionals were also asked about another area of concern -- the potential health and safety issues for workers posed by oil, grease, heavy metal residues or toxic elements on re-usable Rental Shop Towels. Sixty percent said they were disturbed by these hazards, with 20 percent of these respondents reporting they were "very concerned."
Worries about the risks to workers from "toxic towels" were the chief reason why safety professionals said they would switch to disposable wiping solutions from re-usable rental shop towels. What was the second most important reason for a potential change? A closed-loop solution that converts used disposable wipers to energy and diverts them from landfills. Not surprising, given the increased emphasis on environmental responsibility in manufacturing.
"Manufacturing facilities today are focused now more than ever before on conserving natural resources and reducing waste," said Tsiropoulos. "So a closed-loop solution for used wipers is a very appealing option."
The survey of 132 attendees at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) show in Baltimore, Md., was conducted via the Internet between June 9 and 13, 2010. All survey respondents said they were responsible for purchasing, selecting or influencing the purchase or selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or industrial wiping solutions. Ninety percent were safety directors or managers, while the other 10 percent were industrial hygienists, facilities or general managers, or held other positions. They were employed in the following fields: chemical/plastics manufacturing; construction/utilities; computer, electronics and electrical product manufacturing; food processing; metal manufacturing; transpiration equipment manufacturing or other fields.
About Kimberly-Clark Professional
Kimberly-Clark Professional delivers leading-edge health, hygiene and productivity solutions that provide tangible value every day, everywhere. Kimberly-Clark Professional is also committed to reducing environmental impact at every stage in a product's life cycle with its Reduce Today, Respect Tomorrow program. Known for innovative, quality solutions for away-from-home washrooms, "clean" and "industrial" manufacturing environments, and DIY settings, the global brands of Kimberly-Clark Professional include Kleenex, Scott, Kimcare, WypAll, KleenGuard, and Kimtech. With the acquisition of Jackson Safety, Kimberly-Clark Professional offers an even broader range of PPE and other safety offerings, including welding and work-zone safety products. Located in Roswell, Ga., Kimberly-Clark Professional is one of Kimberly-Clark Corporation's four business segments and can be visited on the web at www.kcprofessional.com.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people -- nearly a quarter of the world's population -- trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries.
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