PPE provides little protection if workers don't wear it.
While that might seem like the understatement of the year, it's a serious issue for some safety managers, who struggle to get their workers to consistently wear their personal protective equipment.
Honeywell Safety Products explored the reasons that workers resist wearing their face shields, and used that as the basis for its new Uvex Turbo Shield face shield.
"We decided to totally rethink how the face shield should be designed
based on customers' needs, and the result is a truly revolutionary
product," explains Kevin Beckerdite, product marketing manager for Honeywell's Uvex Face Shields. "For example, we found that many workers are required to wear
face shields for extended periods of time and that many wear them loose
or do not seat them properly on their head.
solution needed to offer superior comfort and an ergonomic design that
is, above all, easy to use."
NED: What led Honeywell to develop this particular face shield?
: Many safety managers are incorporating the use of face shields into their programs above and beyond ANSI's guidance to ensure the greatest possible protection from their site's specific hazards. However, despite the recognized safety benefits that face shields provide, non-compliance remains a problem.
The primary reasons why workers remove or do not wear face shields include difficulty achieving a comfortable or secure fit, and difficulty using them properly. This lack of compliance and dissatisfaction with current face-shield offerings led us to develop a new shield that would solve these problems.
NED: How is this product different from similar face shields currently being offered?
: We decided to totally rethink how the face shield should be designed based on customers' needs, and the result is a truly revolutionary product. For example, we found that many workers are required to wear face shields for extended periods of time and that many wear them loose or do not seat them properly on their head.
Therefore, our solution needed to offer superior comfort and an ergonomic design that is, above all, easy to use. To this end, we created a patent-pending suspension that features a head cradle that distributes pressure over 300 percent more surface area than traditional face shields.
We observed that workers sometimes need to take extra time to replace a visor once it has worn out. We developed a patented visor-retention system that allows a worker to completely change out a visor in about 10 seconds.
We learned that while wearing a hardhat, workers were not comfortable with the instability, position and neck pain associated with visors that stand high off their hard hat when in the raised position, and that face shields also need to work seamlessly with other PPE, such as cap-mounted earmuffs.
Most cap-mounted face shields do not allow access to the cap's accessory slots. The Uvex Turbo Shield hardhat adapter addresses both issues, providing added balance and improved overhead clearance while keeping the accessory slots free.
NED: Any particular problems that came up during the development process?
: One of our main goals for the hardhat adapter was to allow access to the cap's accessory slots, while at the same time making sure that the visor could stow in a position that maximized overhead clearance and remained centered over the wearer's body, as a means to reduce fatigue. The result is an entirely new hinge mechanism that allows us to accomplish this requirement.
Visor development also presented unique challenges. We wanted to deliver the most coverage possible with the best optical performance while maintaining user mobility. We chose to design a toric-shaped visor that does not sacrifice any side coverage, but also provides up to 50 percent more coverage to the chin area, all the while allowing the wearer to maintain head mobility.
Turbo Shield visors meet the same exacting optical requirements as safety spectacles.
NED: What was the length of time from conception to final production?
: Customer and biometric research, along with the meticulous effort in design and mold construction, took about three years to complete and bring Turbo Shield to market.
NED: Did cost factors affect the final design of this product?
: Cost is always a concern when developing PPE solutions. We were determined to create a product that met all of the needs expressed by our customers, so we established a reasonable cost structure from which to work. We did not have to make sacrifices to the product in order to meet those targets.
NED: Who do you view as the primary users of these face shields?
KB: The greatest usage of face shields occurs in the oil, gas and petrochemical, fabrication, construction and power-generation industries. But the great thing about Turbo Shield is that it will perform in any application where face protection is required.