What’s the buzz in PPE?
Employees who do the dirty work aren’t made of stone! Fortunately, there are various suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are committed to providing solutions to keep them safe from on-the-job hazards.
One such supplier is Select PPE, which was recently awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2015 “Southern African Personal Protective Equipment Visionary Innovation Leadership Award” at a ceremony that hosted 140 of Africa’s top innovative executives at Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town.
The annual client-nominated award recognises outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation and strategic product development.
Select PPE sales director, Dries van Tonder, accepted the award on behalf of the 400-member South African-based company. Select PPE received the award for its innovative PPE solutions for women, and for software that facilitates greater control of PPE to previously unreachable markets.
Frost & Sullivan analysts independently attributed Select PPE’s worthiness of this award to the following three aspects:
1. PPE for women in mining and industry:
To date, PPE has been specifically designed for men and does not properly fit a woman’s form; reducing its protective functioning as well as its popularity among women in the industry. Select PPE, one of the few suppliers of female PPE, has pioneered more accurate form-fitting equipment that significantly enhances overall industry safety standards through its field-researched programme: “Women in Industry”.
2. Innovative software to enhance PPE management:
The company has developed innovative software that challenges decades-old business models in a move away from paper-controlled business transactions towards online integration. This software, named “PPE Solution”, is controlled by an application-specific issuing protocol (IP) and provides real-time information on all PPE users and daily usage. This IP includes an assessment of the type and quantity of protective equipment needed and provides for automatic replenishment of stock. It also alerts the head of safety when an employee is at risk.
3. Solutions for small-scale PPE:
This unique online capability has enabled Select PPE to capture markets that have traditionally been hard to access. Previously, smaller operations with 150 to 350 employees were difficult to supply with PPE, as it was not economically viable to have on-site facilities. Select PPE’s software, online store and “vending machine” for PPE, affords these smaller customers access to the full benefits of a holistic PPE solution.
Select PPE is also expanding its African operations by taking its PPE Solution to distributors across the continent.
Reflecting on the award, Van Tonder says: “The fact that this award is nominated by our clients is a great achievement. To get acknowledgement that our PPE systems are pushing boundaries and helping clients address real concerns shows us that we are living up to our slogan of ‘Protecting People Every day’.”
Last November, it was Afrox that was in the news, with the AfroxPac 35i. Underground miners entrust their safety and well-being to AfroxPac 35i self-contained, self-rescuer (SCSR) devices on a daily basis, and manufacturer Afrox was celebrating the production of its 100 000th unit in a record time of just two years.
The AfroxPac 35i is designed to supply life-saving oxygen to a miner in the event of an irrespirable or toxic atmosphere developing underground. It is unique in that it is one of the few mining devices expected to be permanently attached to the body and carried by miners throughout the duration of their shift.
Designed for use in harsh hard-rock mines, the AfroxPac 35i and its predecessor, the AfroxPac 35, have shown remarkable durability. Typically an AfroxPac 35i can be carried for 15 000 to 20 000 hours during its lifespan, with units used cumulatively in over a million worker hours daily.