LET'S TALK ABOUT WITH MICHELE MONTAGNA PROFESSOR OF ERGONOMICS, PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS AT WORK AND CERTIFICATE HEALTH TRAINER FOR SAFETY AT WORK
When we talk about Safety in the Workplace, we refer to a whole series of European standards , provisions and devices that can protect the worker.
Generally, we think about the safety shoes, the helmet, etc. but not about clothing. While work clothes have fundamental importance because the more it is studied and targeted for a specific use - that passes through strict selection criteria and controls - the more the wearer acquires freedom of movement and functionality.
This, together with all the other Personal Protective Equipment, reduces the risk of accidents at work.
Let us think of those who like the mechanic and tyre repair or the tiler and the parqueteur are brought to their knees and frequently crouch during their work; to need tools that must be at hand, etc .:
If the used work clothes are not practical, functional, sufficiently elastic and comfortable, working becomes even more complicated: utterly useless stress, from a psychological and physical point of view.
Is this also your case?
U-POWER has always been extremely attentive to workplace safety issues and is committed through constant research to propose technologically advanced solutions able to meet the needs of workers. It is thanks to this investment policy, linked to research that U-POWER has become a reference point on the national and international market.
Today, we are pleased to have with us Michele Montagna: Doctor of Sport Sciences, Kinesiologist UNC N.14307 - National Union of Kinesiologists, Consultant and Professor in Ergonometry for Work, Prevention and Treatment of DMS (musculoskeletal disorders at work) and Certificate Occupational Health and Safety Trainer (Legislative Decree 81/2008).
Good Morning Michele, what exactly is Ergonomics, and why is it important?
Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science that deals with studying functions and interactions between humans, equipment and the environment.
The equipment - all that the worker wears - must guarantee to the same psychological factors that facilitate the relationship of his anthropometry. Anthropometry consists in the body measurements, with the perception of the external environment assigned to the carrying out of the working activity, including all the physical parameters that characterize them: temperature, humidity, ventilation, etc.
In essence, if you wear functional clothing, which takes into account all the aspects I have told you about, the person feels at ease and enters a psychological and cognitive condition, understood as a mental burden rich in information, more accessible and concrete.
Kneeling, climbing, flexing on oneself, etc. they are movements that, day-to-day, overload the body with tensions that manifest themselves with myofascial contractures, or hardenings of the connective-fibrous bands between the muscles.
Michele, U-POWER asked you to test its clothes and, in particular, the Atom work pants and the Pluton jacket. What emerged from the tests you performed?
The Atom work pants use 4-way stretch U-POWER technology which is ideal against intolerance to working postures. The fabric design giving wearability above expectations, to be work trousers.
The results are soft and comfortable due to the semi-elastic fabric that guarantees full freedom of movement, even under challenging conditions such as the handling of loads.
I tested the pants with different movements and in different conditions, and I was able to ascertain a total lack of stress, even on the knees, one of the most stressed areas.
U-4 technology allows you to count on physical and psychological functionality. Which translates into higher concentration and attention - more efficient, able to improve resistance to physical effort, with reduction of risk factors related to injury in the short term and, at the same time, an improvement in peripheral circulation during work and movements with vehicles.
What are the particular aspects that have influenced the result of the test you conducted?
First of all, the fabric, U-POWER 4 way stretch, which moves in four directions to adapt to the movement and facilitate it with the minimum space; durable and soft on the skin.
Then, the knee area:
• the popliteal fossa – the back of the knee, which has a softer texture to facilitate the minimum encumbrance during the leg flexion, in favour of blood circulation;
• while on the front, in the areas most subjected to wear and rubbing stress, there are ultra-strong inserts in 600D poly-oxford; these inserts are both on the knees and on the heel tread.
The functionality and richness of the pockets:
• Two large pockets for knee pads;
• Two side pockets;
• Two front pockets;
• Two back pockets;
• A tool pocket with a retractable side badge holder.
The fabric guarantees constant temperature and microclimate. Furthermore, it is water-resistant, breathable and even fast drying.
The adjustment with retractable elastic and the rear ensures great lumbar comfort.
And then, besides having a perfect fit, Atom also has a very young and modern slim line; but this is a personal opinion that goes beyond the test.
And what about the Pluton jacket?
I have to start with an essential premise.
Arms and shoulders, for a worker, are the most concrete tools with which he can carry out his daily tasks. But sometimes the antalgic postures, if not attentive and in lack of adequate clothing - I refer to safety shoes, work pants, jackets, etc. - lead in the short to medium term to psycho-physical stress and structural and organic dysfunctions.
It is essential to remember that the use of rigid work jackets not conforming to the morphological structure lead to fix of spoiled postures without having full consciousness, but automating. There will, therefore, be a series of symptoms without apparent causes.
The semi-elastic U-POWER 4-way stretch fabric, soft and comfortable, of which the Pluton jacket is made, guarantees full freedom of movement to the scapular-humeral articulation, reducing the risk factors associated with cervical pain, brachial neuralgia, paraesthesia, etc.
Thus, Pluton accompanies the functional effectiveness of one’s workforce by reducing fatigue and a feeling of weariness in favour of strength and concentration.
Reducing accident risk factors at unpredictable times, the quality of blood circulation and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles, joints, tissues and organs benefits and improves quality of life.
Michele, I must admit that I had never considered a jacket - or more generally, a piece of clothing - from a health point of view; and I'm pretty impressed by your analysis.
You're not alone!
It is rather common to evaluate a garment "only" based on taste and functionality. But I assure you that once you have become aware of the importance of an assessment from a more technological and more profound point of view, do not go back further, because the advantages in terms of freedom of movement and quality of life are such as to be evident.
Even in terms of functionality, Pluton has passed the test with full marks, because it is rich in essential details such as the windbreakers and the adjustable hood - both retractable -; The front and sleeve reflex inserts ensure maximum visibility and many pockets: two frontal, two inside and a mobile phone pocket.
In short, the microclimate is guaranteed, and the garment is water-resistant, breathable and fast-drying; while the U-4 fabric moves in four directions to adapt to the movement of arms, shoulders and cervical without interfering and minimum encumbrance: it is comfortable, durable, soft on the skin and beautiful!
Michele, how can we help our readers understand which U-POWER work clothes are best suited to their needs?
It is necessary to analyze the personal case, to figure out which is the best one for you. Therefore, the only system is to provide specific consultancy and for this U-POWER, has prepared a small step questionnaire in which different job cases, conditions of use, etc. are offered. Responding to which, I'm going to be able to provide the most appropriate advice. Of course, it is an entirely free consultancy, offered by U-POWER to its readers and, of course, the data provided are entirely subject to privacy.
The reply is going to be provided directly by e-mail to the post office box indicated.
In this way, we guarantee confidentiality and safeguard.
Michele, I thank you once again for your precious help, and I can only invite our readers to fill out the form so as not to miss this fantastic opportunity!
And of course, good work ... with U-POWER!