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The Health & Safety Exhibition returns with a bang
The NEC saw one of its largest events open last week as the IFSEC – Security Solutions and Network Advantage, Safety and Health Expo, The Facilities Show, International Fire Expo, and ACPO all arrived to set up shop and brace the crowds who flooded through the doors from all over the world.
Director-e joined the throng of visitors to see the largest number of companies to exhibit at the show yet with over 1200 companies signing up. New features were also on offer such as the two seminar theatres and a runway to provide weary travellers with a well deserved break from the constant battle to find stand C 47/R 22/ F 456 or just a bin in which to dump the empty 6 pack of Red Bull in order to make more hand space for the brochures and tempting goodies on offer from welcoming stands.
Head to toe workwear
Among the hustle and bustle in the Health and Safety Hall F. Engel Workwear were on hand to show off their Sika footwear and Ocean Rainwear shower proof fleeces and trousers.
Chris Hvass of F. Engel was pleased with the response they were receiving on the first day of the show on Tuesday, “People coming to the stand can see that we have everything to offer them from head to toe. Because of the different brands that we have here as well, there is more flexibility for customers, they can have every piece of clothing and they can all be matched together.”
Accor Services were also close by promoting their eye care vouchers widely used by employers of staff working with computers. Katie Brooks, Sales Manager for Accor was pleased to be at the Health and Safety event for another year, “We always try to offer what is needed in the workplace and with our wide range of vouchers we continue to do that as we have seen from feedback we have received today.”
It’s all in the timing
I continued to weave my way through the maze of stands, gadgets and futuristic looking materials and outfits well aware of the fact that this was only one hall out of the four other sprawling exhibitions and time was-a-ticking.
After realising that some kind of cunning plan was needed in order to pay a visit to the many familiar faces of workwear companies dotted around the NEC I was distracted by a floor shaking banging which turned out to be two young energetic types at the TRAD scaffolding station making a song and dance (literally) over a few brushes, dustbin lids and lots of yellow scaffolding.
I somehow managed to tear myself away from the mesmerising jungle like beats and stumble upon ACPO the International Police Exhibition which conveniently led on through to the International Fire Expo.
Hunter Apparel had their latest designs on show for the Urban Search and Rescue Team. The head to toe outfit is just as durable as the standard designs used at the moment but is more lightweight making it suitable forcircumstances when full protection is not needed. Sales Manager, Bob Pantry was on the stand to welcome director-e and tell us more.
“The Urban Search and Rescue don’t need such heavy duty outfits for their line of work so this new line of clothing is ideal for them. Not only will it make their job easier because it is more lightweight but it is also cheaper,” commented Bob. “We have many customers coming to see the range tomorrow which is why I think events like this are such a good idea. It allows companies to see their usual clients and also meet new ones who normally they would never get the opportunity to see.”
Among the stands in ACPO were Hunter Apparel who had joined forces with S. Yaffy for the day to promote their line of clothing and safety wear.
FiReBuy had their own stand in the International Fire Expo promoting their cause to get a National Uniform for the fire service. Unlike the Police or Ambulance service, fire fighters do not have a day uniform that represents their profession and differences can be seen all over the country, so much so that many people may not even recognise a fire fighter if they saw one. It is this reason why the people at FiReBuy are working to get a uniform that would be provided to all fire stations over the country.
Moving to the beat
Wandering back towards the Health and Safety exhibition in the hunt for a rest stop my scan for a restaurant without a 15 minute queue was suddenly obscured by a puff of smoke. Thinking some stall had somehow spontaneously combusted in the middle of the exhibition I did what any journalist would do, and ran full pelt toward the mass of smoke, loud noises and stunned looking spectators.
The cause of such drama turned out to be less of a headliner than I had expected but was far more enjoyable as Dupont Protective Wear put on a 15 minute show on the new catwalk stage. Dancers proceeded to entertain onlookers with moves that wouldn’t look out of place in the local Coliseum nightclub as CAT clothing and Dupont outfits were danced around the stage to the Scissor Sisters, Basement Jaxx and the Star Wars and Doctor Who theme tunes.
Some extra dance moves to show off at the next wedding/birthday was definitely something visitors were not expecting but was without a doubt a bonus feature and the light heartedness mixed with the heavy wearing safety equipment and clothing managed to make the day yet another unmissable event.