New Zealand health and safety changed forever since 2010 when the Pike River Mine Disaster, tragically claimed the lives of 29 miners. A production-before-safety culture is not acceptable. And, we’re pleased to say that today the emphasis is on safety — with both products and onsite behaviours — and senior executives are now personally liable for the health and safety of their people.
The rise in fit-for-purpose safetySo, the new health-and-safety climate has resulted in a need for more fit-for-purpose products. And, at the end of the day, this is the business that Armour Safety Products is in. You see, by developing products that are designed for a specific purpose, we maximise the safety of the user, and our customers enjoy cost savings over time.
Developing Blade Cut-5 Food Gloves[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="531"] Blade Cut 5 Innovative glove design[/caption] We work with the industrial, utility, engineering and food industries. Here's how we developed our best selling cut-5 food-processing glove. The project began when AsureQuality approached us. Their inspectors, who visit abattoirs where workers handle extremely sharp knives, had a concern. You see, the workers, sensibly, wore cut-5 gloves to protect their hands (simply put, cut 5 means the gloves can take 20 blade strikes under a set level of pressure). What worried inspectors were the lack of data showing how laundering affected the gloves’ protective qualities. In other words, at what point will laundering diminish the gloves’ cut-5 protection — 10, 15, 20 washes? After all, during laundering, gloves are exposed to detergents, hot water, bleaches and UV light. There was no data available, so nobody knew. Consequently, to be safe, the abattoir replaced their gloves after every 10 to 15 launders which worked out at every 10 to 15 days.
Armour product-development processThe solution was to develop a glove that users could be confident would retain cut-5 protection for a minimum number of launders. The process involved:
- Selecting yarn and fibres
- Sourcing samples
- Onsite trialling of samples
- Getting feedback regarding comfort and performance from end users
- Carrying out laundering tests at our factory.