People working in industrial environments, such as building sites for example, must be able to rely completely on their occupational health and safety equipment. Innovative, global developments in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE) were the subject of an international conference held in Dresden from 20 - 21 October 2008. Taking part were 120 businesses, manufacturers, users and OSH-experts from various different European countries. The event was organised by "ASIZ", the Russian Association of Designers, Manufacturers and Suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment, in association with BGAG, the German Institute Work and Health and BG Bau, the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the building trade) within the DGUV ( the German Social Accident Insurance), and the expert committee on "Personal Protective Equipment".
The latest developments in PPE were presented during the conference. For example, newly developed dust extraction systems prevent the release of harmful dust during grinding and milling operations. During a two-year study, experts at BG Bau tested commercially available dust extractors and confirmed their effectiveness. Their widespread use would eliminate a major cause of common occupational diseases. Conference participants were quickly persuaded of the effectiveness of PPE by a dramatic practical demonstration of the use of innovative light-weight smoke hoods and fire-proof clothing and a demonstration of cut-protective clothing for working with chainsaws. Illuminated safety helmets (particularly useful at dusk, at night or for tunnelling) and the latest PPE against falls from a height for scaffold construction were also presented.