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Matt Higham (image courtesy of LinkedIn)

The Women in Plant (WiP) group, part of the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA), has partnered with Leo Workwear, a leading supplier of high-visibility workwear, to promote suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing tailored for women in the plant industry.

Encountering challenges in sourcing safety and high-visibility clothing that fits well and ensures safety on worksites, the WiP group approached Leo Workwear for assistance. Leo Workwear, known for its expertise in designing and producing high-visibility female workwear, responded by offering a range of items bearing the Women in Plant group logo. SPOA is facilitating the distribution of these clothing items to women associated with the Association, ahead of ScotPlant, where the full range was showcased. The complete Leo Workwear range is available for order through Highland Industrial Supplies, offering an exclusive WiP discount; interested parties can inquire via email at

Developed by an all-female team based on years of feedback and wearer trials, the clothing range includes trousers, base layers, and vests, ensuring safety for all workers regardless of gender, size, or religion. Specialised items for pregnant women and those experiencing menopause, as well as modesty tunics designed with safety considerations for specific religious practices, are also available.

Matt Higham, national account manager at Leo Workwear, emphasised the importance of providing appropriate safety equipment for all workers, regardless of gender. He highlighted the company’s commitment to developing clothing that fits well, is comfortable, functional, and contributes to workplace safety.

The clothing is made using recycled materials, aligning with sustainability goals and resulting in a 50% reduction in carbon emissions. Leo Workwear has addressed various challenges faced by women in the industry, including the need for functional movement, varied leg lengths, and adequate pocket sizes. Regulatory standards for high-visibility clothing are also met, with options available to ensure compliance, even in smaller sizes.

Zaya McMillan-Grant from SPOA’s Women in Plant group expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, highlighting the importance of recognising the diverse needs of workers in the industry. She hopes that the initiative will encourage employers to reassess the PPE and clothing provided to female employees, prioritising safety for all workers.

The women’s range of Leo Workwear PPE and clothing will be showcased at Highland Industrial Supplies open days in Inverness on the 6th and 7th of June.

Technology designed for occupational and environmental monitoring

Whilst we were at the H&S Show 2024 we also met up with Tim Turney, Global Marketing Manager at Casella. Tim showcased the professional noise, air sampling and vibration monitoring equipment that Casella offers to keep people safe at work.

As you can imagine, with the vast range that Casella can offer the market there was a lot of information to take in – luckily Tim had a solution which was their new “Virtual Product Tour”

Joined by parent company TSI for the first time, Tim explained the advanced product range that Casella can now offer to customers that include face fit testing products that were crucial during the pandemic.

As the world becomes louder and more polluted Casella’s advanced monitoring equipment provides businesses with the peace of mind that their employees are safe. Casella also recently released the Interactive Tour software that simulates a real-world noise monitoring situation in a working environment that allows professionals to learn how to use the tools remotely and accessibly.

Casella is dedicated to reducing occupational and environmental health risks through effective monitoring solutions. Casella prides itself on providing precision instrumentation since 1799, supplying eminent figures including David Livingstone and Charles Darwin with instrumentation for exploration and scientific work.

Casella offers smart and easy to use solutions for monitoring noise, dust and vibration.  Our continuing innovation and training support ensure the next generation have the latest technology and expertise to aid health risk measurement. 

To find out more about the Casella brand and product offering please get in touch here.

HAIX is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality, functional footwear, primarily for professionals in demanding fields such as firefighting, law enforcement, military, forestry, and rescue services. Founded in 1948 in Mainburg, Bavaria, by Xaver Haimerl, the company has grown significantly from its roots as a local shoemaker to a global leader in specialized footwear.

The company’s success is built on its commitment to high standards of quality, functionality, and design. HAIX produces its footwear exclusively in Europe, maintaining stringent quality control and leveraging state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Germany and Croatia. This ensures that each pair meets the rigorous demands of their users, from fire departments in New York City to special forces in Europe.

HAIX also focuses on continuous innovation, holding numerous patents and frequently introducing new products that set benchmarks in the industry. Their product range includes boots designed for extreme heat, chemical protection, and other hazards faced by professionals in high-risk jobs

Simon Ash, UK Sales Manager at HAIX represented the company at The Health and Safety Event 2024. Simon presented the company’s commitment to inclusive PPE with the women’s fit range that has proportions designed to comfortably fit women. Offering the same weather and wear resistant characteristics as the male counterparts, the new range remedies an industry challenge by bringing comfortability and utility to women professionals that would previously have to wear unsuitable footwear.

Find out more about HAIX  here

Climate change. Economic uncertainty. Social inequality. Our world faces many challenges. Arco are taking action for a safer tomorrow.

HSE People took a visit to the H&S Show where we met up with Jim Harbidge, Arco’s Head of Sustainability, highlighted the company’s commitment to sustainability, particularly through initiatives like Responsible Workwear. This line of clothing is not only ethically sourced but also designed to last, with a fully traceable supply chain.

Jim also talked about Arco’s Responsible Hi-Vis range recently launched which has been developed for circularity with life-extending features, responsibly sourced materials and certified production processes for a complete recycling solution at the product’s end-of-life.

Jim explained to us about Arco’s mission to build on their core purpose which is to keep people safe at work by having a clear vision of what we can do to help secure a more sustainable future for everyone:

  • Having a positive impact on people
  • Enabling businesses to be more responsible
  • Taking responsibility for our impact on the planet

A Safe Tomorrow is our strategic plan to help secure a safer future by being more sustainable in how we develop and deliver products and services and how we work with customers and partners.

Our plan spreads across our three key strategic priority areas, whilst they are set out as distinct areas, the goals within each are highly connected and interdependent. Each has been mapped to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we are prioritising those where we have the biggest impact.

When it comes to sustainability, we believe our job is never done. That’s why as a business we’ll continue to do everything we can to make the world safer in the workplace and beyond.

For more information about Arco’s Responsible Hi-Vis range please get in touch using this link. 

uvex, the leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE), is delighted to announce that the uvex Training Academy has been awarded the prestigious BSIF Safety Solution Award. The accolade, which was delivered at a gala awards ceremony held at the Vox in Resorts World, NEC Birmingham on 1 May 2024, recognises uvex’s commitment to safety and education, exemplified through its innovative training programme.

Through comprehensive technical information and education, the uvex Training Academy equips users and distributors with the knowledge to make informed choices when selecting or supplying PPE. In a business climate marked by intense competition and constant change, well-trained employees and safe workplaces are paramount.

“At uvex, we believe that wearing the right PPE is not just a choice but a responsibility,” says Carl Dwyer, uvex UK Director of Sales. “The PPE industry faces a critical challenge: misselling of low-quality products and a lack of awareness around proper PPE selection can leave workers inadequately protected, at risk of serious injuries. At uvex, we are committed to raising safety standards across the board. That’s why we developed our award-winning uvex Training Academy. By equipping distribution partners and customers with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about PPE, we can work together to eliminate these issues.” 

The academy’s certified modular training programme, developed in collaboration with external specialists, offers three stages of learning. Participants undergo self-assessment, engage in bespoke training courses tailored to their needs, and receive refresh sessions and assessments. The programme covers various PPE categories, including hand protection, safety eyewear, hearing protection, and safety footwear.

To date, the academy has delivered hand and eye protection modules to individuals within uvex’s distributor network, with the roll-out its hearing and footwear modules in 2024. Initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants praising the programme’s effectiveness and relevance.

“The uvex Training Academy fills a critical knowledge gap in the industry,” says Carl Dwyer. “By providing objective information and promoting a culture of safety, we aim to empower users to choose the right equipment for the job through our in-depth training programs. This collaborative effort drives positive change within the industry, ensuring a safer work environment for everyone and creating a future where workers return home safe. It’s only with a change of behaviour through increased awareness that today’s workforce can achieve this, and the uvex Training Academy ensures everyone in the PPE supply chain takes full responsibility to make it happen.”

Among the benefits of the academy are improved product selection, increased confidence in PPE, and enhanced compliance with safety standards. By educating stakeholders at every touchpoint in the supply chain, uvex endeavours to foster a safer working environment and reduce accidents.

Carl concludes: “As we celebrate this achievement, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting safety and well-being in the workplace and raising the culture of PPE from being provided as a tick-box exercise to being a valued part of staff wellbeing.”

uvex was also delighted to be recognised for its commitment to sustainability with a Commended award in the Sustainable Company of the Year category.

For more information about the uvex Training Academy, visit: 

Deliberate heading will be prohibited in matches at under-11 level and below in England, as confirmed by the Football Association. This decision is part of an ongoing effort to “review and improve the safety of our game”.

Over the next three years, heading will gradually be phased out from games involving primary school-aged children, following a two-year trial period. Deliberate headers will be considered an offense punishable with a free-kick, and throw-ins will be replaced by “pass-in/dribble-ins”.

“After two seasons of the Ifab [International Football Association Board] trial in English football, we will now introduce a new rule to phase out deliberate heading in matches in all affiliated grassroots youth football between U7-U11 level over the next three seasons,” stated the FA. “We adopted the Ifab trial to help reduce any potential risk factors that may be linked to heading the ball, including injuries from head to head, elbow to head, or head to ground contact.

“The gradual introduction of the new rule over the next three seasons will support the players’ journey as they adapt from deliberately heading the ball in grassroots youth football matches. It has been decided that as grassroots players move from primary to secondary school, heading the ball will be introduced at this natural transition point in their U12 season.”

While safety is the primary motivation for the change, the FA also sees an opportunity to enhance children’s skills with the ball at their feet. “Our aim is to also create more technical opportunities for players with the ball at their feet, allow for more effective playing time, and to reduce the amount of time the ball is in the air during a match,” added the FA.

The phased implementation will commence with the youngest age groups. Starting from next season, matches involving under-sevens to under-nines will see deliberate headers punished with an indirect free-kick. Deliberate headers in a player’s own penalty area will result in a free-kick awarded “from the nearest side line of the penalty area where the offense took place”.

As for restarts, pass-in/dribble-ins will replace throw-ins, enabling players to restart play and continue with the ball without requiring a touch from a teammate. However, a goal cannot be scored directly from a pass-in. These changes will be extended to under-10s in 2025-26 and under-11s in 2026-27.

Headway, the brain injury charity, praised the decision regarding heading. Luke Griggs, its chief executive, stated: “The FA is demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding the future of the sport. It’s vital that football continues to evolve and adapt in line with emerging evidence in order to safeguard the brain health of professional and amateur players.”

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