The Safety & Health Expo took place on 15th-17th May at Birmingham’s NEC, alongside the Facilities Show and IFSEC International. Organised in partnership with the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Institute of Safety & Health (IOSH), the Safety & Health Expo provided delegates with the chance to see the latest products and attend educational seminars on legislation updates and hot industry topics.
Even the inclement weather on the opening day couldn’t keep the crowds away, with a number of workwear and PPE businesses reporting a high footfall of quality visitors coming to their stands.
Maurice Morton, Sales and Marketing Director at Williamson-Dickie Europe, who were exhibiting for the first time, said: “It’s been a busy day; we’ve had lots of enquiries from all over the globe including Japan, Africa and Pakistan.” The company’s new PPE range and Industrial Launderable Range of bespoke workwear gained much interest from visitors who were also encouraged to enter Dickies’ annual ‘UK Worker of the Year’ competition on the stand to be in with the chance to win a car.
Portwest also had a good show. Operations and Marketing Manager Richard Jones told Professional Clothing director-e that this was the first time they had exhibited in four years and that the show had definitely improved since then. “Everything on our stand is new ,” he added, “we’ve been busy developing 150 products over the past 12 months as we are looking to double the business in two years and the UK is our biggest market.”
New products on display included Portwest’s new range of inherent FR clothing, containing new styles in different fabric compositions and weights; and a new boot for the oil and gas industry. Its specially designed PU/Rubber outsole with Green Diamond technology (previously used for snow tyres in Scandinavia) ensures superior slip resistance in demanding conditions.
Aside from the exhibition, key attractions at the Safety & Health Expo included the SHP Legal Arena with leading UK solicitors sharing case studies and regulatory updates; the Occupational Health Centre featuring topics around health and wellbeing in the workplace; and The Academy – a space dedicated to showcasing product innovations and best practice – sponsored by Arco.
Arco’s stand was also full of innovations. It’s newly expanded Trojan workwear brand now caters for tradesmen and the contract sector with a collection of fashionable, functional, durable and comfortable garments. Items include a soft shell fleece, polo shirt made from a wicking fabric, funky cargo trousers of heavy duty CORDURA® fabric with knee pad pockets and mobile phone pockets; and a multi-purpose jacket featuring a Barbour-inspired inner jacket and a waterproof outer jacket.
Arco also showcased its waste/recycling industry handling glove with the range set for expansion in September. Marketing Manager Gillian White said: “Workers in the waste recycling industry are exposed to many hazardous situations, from contact with sharp objects to chemical spills and exposure to harmful liquids.” To protect against these hazards the glove is comprised of a cut resistant barrier and a chemical resistant neoprene barrier which can be reversed to suit the working environment.
Finally, Arco Essentials made its exhibition debut following its official launch in April. Created in response to customer feedback, the range provides competitively priced safety products and workwear in the face of public sector budget cuts and an overall tough economic climate. Each of the 79 products is entry level and offers basic functionality whilst remaining fit for purpose and good quality.
The Safety & Health Expo also saw the launch of Praybourne’s coverall for protection against electric arc hazards, following a six month development project. Available in navy and high visibility yellow, the coverall meets the latest standards of ISO 11612:2008 for protection against heat and flame; ISO 11611:2007 for clothing used in welding and allied processes; EN 1149-3 for electrostatic properties, and EN 61482-2-2:2007, for protective clothing against the thermal properties of an electric arc.
The new products were well received at the show according to Sales Director Stuart Jukes. “It’s been really busy and we’ve had some really good enquiries,” he said. “The show is better this year compared to last year as the workwear and PPE companies used to be spread over two halls meaning visitors had to migrate between the two. Now it’s more self-contained and visitors have more time to spend with us on the stand. The seminars help to draw a lot of people too.”
For more information about the exhibition visit www.safety-health-expo.co.uk