Concrete work is known to separate the men from the boys. Not every individual is cut out to work in the sometimes brutal and blistering conditions found in construction and masonry. Similarly, not all PPE is suitable for the work that “ANTICIPATES a head-on collision” with equipment malfunction or human error. So why are so many industrial sectors defaulting to PPE designed for the work that “PERCEIVES no risk.” It is time that we as safety leaders demand a technology evolution for impact innovation. Over 50% of all construction industry injuries occur to workers’ hands and fingers. This means that what we are currently doing, is ineffective in reducing injuries caused by blunt force, impact, crushing, and pinching. Until now, Thermoplastic Resin (TPR) has been the dominating impact material used to avoid serious injuries in industrial work environments. This narrative describes the development, research qualification, and field-testing of an alternative impact resistance material that provides advances to traditional TPR bumper pads. The adoption of this D3O technology and its use in times of tightening the belt, is critical to reducing lost time incidents, reducing overall spend, maximizing employee confidence in the company, and more-so getting workers home the same way they came to work.
By using an innovative problem-solving approach, this new impact material, called D3O, was derived from other industries using it for impact protection; i.e. sports, military, medical, motorcycle, footwear, and equipment cases. D3O’s aggressive upstart is attracting the attention of big-league players such as NASA, Boeing, and the U.S. Army D3O belongs to a family of oddball materials known as non-Newtonian fluids, which includes famous relatives such as corn-flour suspensions, ketchup and shampoo. What these liquids have in common is that their viscosity. Shaking a bottle of shampoo or ketchup makes the contents flow more easily, while cornstarch and D3O instead become solid on impact. D3O contains a molecular bond, which is sensitive to the speed at which the material moves. The result is that you end up with a soft material with high-shock-absorption properties.
D3O was first introduced in the 2006 Winter Olympics and it offered significant impact resistance to the U.S. and Canadian ski teams as they ventured the down-hill slopes. These D3O protective ski-suits, allowed the skier to feel more free, more able to focus on skiing down the mountain, and less concerned about impacting the slalom gates. How does it work? D3O’s raw state flows freely when moved slowly, but upon shock, it locks together to absorb and disperse energy, before instantly returning to its flexible state.
Bringing innovation to the table is what RPS Solutions does best, and when D3O was discovered, it was inherent that this material would be the next big thing for industrial impact-work gloves.
The type of fractures that occur with construction and masonry work came into consideration as the TPR and D3O performed differently with each of the strains. It was proven by human cadaver hand R&D that D3O was the only impact material tested that prevented forces below zero, hence providing the best chance for workers to avoid fracture. Essentially, D3O clutched at the last millisecond to prevent the ricochet of the mass to the bumper.
TPR impact protection helps prevent hand injuries at 1 inch through 6 inch test heights. D3O impact technology prevents bone breakage in the 11 inch range, a statistic more applicable to construction injuries. This phenomenon is easily compared to car restraint systems. While TPR serves as a functional seatbelt for fender-bender accidents, D3O proves to be the five-point-harness for the most ANTICIPATED head-on-crash, hence helping professional race car drivers walk away with less severe injuries.
As you are called to ensure mens’ safety, whose work separates them from the boys, consider giving them the best in impact glove technology, exclusively found in CrudeHands impact gloves. Please see the video/live demonstration of 544 pounds of pressure applied to TPR and D3O work gloves.
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