Winter 2016

‘Our people no longer want any other workwear’

For many years, the workers at Duslo, a company of chemical industry in Slovakia, wore workwear that was one hundred percent cotton. Recently almost the entire firm switched to protective clothing made of TenCate Tecasafe® Plus.  

Duslo produces and supplies chemical products across the globe, such as artificial fertiliser, adhesives and anti-degradation agents for the rubber industry. Due to the chemical nature of the production, workers in the factory are naturally exposed to hazardous substances and machines. The potential risks they run vary from burns from fire and explosions to chemical splashes. Which is why everyone on the work floor, from maintenance personnel to administrative staff, must wear protective clothing if they enter the production environment. However, this was not always the case. 

protective duslo men at work

‘Until recently, in ninety percent of cases, we would use cotton workwear at Duslo’, said Róbert Matula, purchasing and logistics manager, and confirmed by Jan Rusó, head of the Workplace Safety department. ‘Only in certain areas, like the inorganic production department, would people use workwear that incorporated a mix of carbon fibre. But the basis was always cotton. And this did not protect employees from chemical splashes or static discharges.’ 

Types of materials
At Lovochemie, a sister company of Duslo, employees already wore protective clothing. Four years ago, TenCate Tecasafe® Plus was selected, after evaluating several types of materials.
‘At that time, we carried out exhaustive tests on the material at Lovochemie and compared it with other materials’, explained Jan Rusó. ‘The personnel tried out various types of clothing. In the end, the clothing made of TenCate materials won due to the combination of comfort, effective protection and last but not least the price. Because Duslo's production programme is largely similar to that of Lovochemie, we were able to introduce it at Duslo without further testing. Employees really have to be protected against dangers at work, and the previous protection was simply not up to the job.’ 

protective duslo men
From left to right: an employee of Duslo in the new workwear, Wibo Behm (Regional Sales Manager Eastern Europe & Central Asia), Jiri Boubin (Agent TenCate), Joseph Kuchar (CEO Stomex), 
Róbert Matula (Purchasing & Logistic Manager) and Jan Rusó (Head of the workplace Safety Department)

Duslo carried out a risk assessment for the entire company. ‘Each workstation and every department was assessed for risks’, said Róbert Matula. ‘This included a stock-take of all the resources needed for the work. At eighty percent of the workstations, we discovered that extra protective clothing was needed.’ DUSLO has run the vendor selection process where Stomex has been promoted as the winner at the end. The Slovakian garment-maker Stomex has been specialising for twenty years in the production of protective workwear with antistatic and fire-retardant fabrics that comply with European safety standards. The materials of TenCate Protective Fabrics are a particular favourite of Stomex.  

‘TenCate Tecasafe® Plus offers multifaceted protection against all sorts of risks and features a high level of comfort in use’, said Stomex CEO Joseph Kuchár. ‘And that makes this clothing extremely well-suited to this type of work. We now supply this clothing to five different companies. Three of these are service companies working in the same field as Duslo. What our clients' employees really appreciate is the soft material. But of course they also experience protection against so many different risks that they face.’ 

Dark blue with HV yellow
TenCate Tecasafe® Plus protects against static electricity, electric arc and chemical splashes and is also water repellent. The material can be produced in any colour – dark blue in Duslo's case, with fluorescent yellow for the high-visibility effect – and is suitable for industrial washes and is strongly colourfast. ‘We also use the fabric from other producers in our clothing’, said Joseph Kuchár. ‘And yet we often incorporate a layer of TenCate fabric into the final product, especially because it protects against all those different risks. TenCate fabrics are modern and comply with the current standards and trends in the field of safety.’  

Positively surprised - that's what the employees at Lovochemie were, when they started wearing this clothing four years ago. ‘Employees really noticed the change, that they were better protected against risks’, said Róbert Matula. ‘The employees who were the most surprised had previously worn protective clothing made of other materials that felt much less comfortable. They also consider this clothing as being safer than the older workwear. They realise that the clothing protects them against potential fire, chemical splashes and static electricity.’  

At sister company Duslo, the workwear has only been in use for a short time, but due to the enthusiasm at Lovochemie, Róbert Matula expects positive reactions here too. ‘People feel safer. The clothing doesn't make their work any easier or more difficult. But it does make them feel they are better protected while they work. And that's the most important factor.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)