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June 22, 2015

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“Listening drives innovation” at Honeywell

“We have a saying here at Honeywell Safety Products,” comments Olivier Touchais, General Manager – General Safety Products EMEA at Honeywell Safety Products. “When listening drives innovation, revolutionary change occurs. It’s a vitally important element of what we do and shapes our continual ambition to set the standard in workplace health and safety by developing market leading solutions.”

Honeywell places a major emphasis on Research and Development and at the heart of this is direct feedback from customers. The company firmly believes in listening to the needs and concerns of both those responsible for specifying PPE and managing workplace safety programmes and those physically undertaking the job at the sharp end in their chosen profession.

To help achieve this result, Honeywell developed a Voice of the Customer (VOC) and Observational Voice of the Customer (OVOC) customer research programme which forms much of the foundation-laying and field testing for the global R&D teams. This is achieved initially through a dual-role approach by talking to customers directly about what their needs and opinions are of the PPE they use and then undertaking detailed observational studies of how people actually work with their PPE. This enables Honeywell to capture invaluable information from the people who are best placed to provide insight into the features they need and want and combine that with a thorough understanding of the hazards and practicalities of the job to make existing products better and help create new, innovative and technology-led workplace safety solutions.

“One of the things we discovered early on is that what people say they do and how they work and how they actually work and use their PPE can be two different things. They beauty of the VOC and OVOC combined is that we can get a true picture and real insight,” said Olivier.

Honeywell runs a rolling customer research programme focusing on key industry sectors, specific workplace hazards and PPE applications. Thanks to this information, engineers and innovators at the company’s research and development centres around the world use cutting-edge ergonomics, connectivity and human factor engineering to create some of the industry’s most comfortable and functional safety solutions. For example, scientists at Honeywell’s Safety Products’ Technology Centre in China apply human factor engineering concepts in the development of more comfortable, usable PPE.

By applying these scientific approaches to equipment design, Honeywell maximises ease of use, performance and user satisfaction while reducing stress and fatigue. It also ensures its products not only meet but in many cases exceed the recognised international safety standards.

Turboshield™ face protection system is a fine example of how Honeywell’s combined appliance of science and human needs can result in revolutionary safety solutions. Not only was it the first visor-range on the market to achieve A-impact-rating (EN166-A) for all its products. Its unique, patented and patent-pending features were based on rigorous customer research, which was conducted across 15 companies throughout the US and Europe. The key outcomes of this research were a number of unmet needs and a performance wish list that included:

Ease of Use – with an easy visor exchange and able to be adjusted even when wearing gloves.

Better visor durability – in particular reduce scratching to lengthen life of the visor

Greater safety – maximise coverage without increasing size/bulk, reduce fogging so workers can see better, allow better interaction with other, necessary PPE

Increased comfort – headgear should be comfortable enough to wear for long shifts/hours, improve balance to reduce fatigue when wearing hard hats and maximise overhead clearance when wearing hard hats.

To meet these needs, Turboshield was launched following extensive field and in-house testing. The new generation system boasts superior comfort for longer wear, the easiest visor exchange available, improved protection and optimal balance when worn with a hard hat.

An ideal solution for nearly every industry where workers are exposed to falling or flying objects, impact, splash and airborne debris, the Turboshield system embodies Honeywell’s commitment to listening to customers, applying world-class technology and innovation, and designing products that change the face of safety.

The Turboshield headgear delivers superior comfort through a patented, flexible suspension cradle that provides 300% more contact area than traditional suspensions and eliminates pressure points for all-day wear. A patent-pending, secure, push-button release system enables extremely easy visor exchange in seconds. Large, ergonomic adjustment knobs also allow users to achieve a personalised, comfortable fit – even while wearing protective gloves.

Turboshield hard hat adapter’s patented dual-hinge system enables the visor to slide back seven inches for improved balance and weight distribution while increasing overhead clearance by up to four inches. The design also keeps accessory slots open for compatibility with additional PPE.

A unique, integrated brim guard ensures a gap-free fit and added protection from overhead debris. The hard hat adapter is compatible with Honeywell and most other leading brands. The Turboshield headgear and hard hat adapter are compatible with Honeywell’s complete family of Supervizor specialty visors including gold coated, triacetate and acetate to provide added flexibility to the range.

Further innovation ensures the unique, Turboshield toric-shaped visor provides excellent optics, increased field of view and 50% more chin coverage than traditional cylindrical visors, without the need for bulky accessories. Replacement visors are available including optional dual anti-scratch/anti-fog lens coating for extended life and reduced fogging. The Turboshield system is also certified to EN166 standards.

“It’s important for us to fully understand not just the hazards but the way people work and how they want to work to get a clear understanding of how our products can work with them. By tapping into the knowledge of our customers we are best placed to achieve this,” added Olivier.

The Turboshield system embodies Honeywell’s commitment of listening to customers, applying world-class technology and innovation, and designing products that change the face of safety and that of the PPE market.

For more information on any product, visit the Honeywell Safety Products website.

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