Autumn 2015

Protecting firefighters at sea

TenCate Protective Fabrics has supplied protective fabrics to the crew members of Allseas who are responsible for fire prevention and firefighting. The order involves a total of 120 uniforms for five ships. To be precise: TenCate Millenia™ for the inner and outer shell of 244 pairs of trousers and jackets. 
This is a large order for a nautical company fire service. But probably even more important is the fact that it relates to a delivery to ‘a great name and a good reference in an interesting global market’. The partners involved in completing this order are garment-makers Van Heurck and distributor Vandeputte safety experts.

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From right to left Kathleen Wellens, Dimitri Brekelmans, Dries van Heurck and Wim Arendsen

Wim Arendsen, regional sales manager, Benelux / UK at TenCate Protective Fabrics, worked together with garment-makers Van Heurck and distributor Vandeputte safety experts to complete the order. Van Heurck develops, produces and sells protective clothing, work and safety clothing and technical textile products, while Vandeputte develops and distributes products and services to ensure safety at work and the welfare of employees.

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Allseas' Pioneering Spirit

In the markets in which TenCate operates, employee safety is paramount. Customers and end-users impose extremely exacting requirements on protection, followed by wearing comfort, lifespan and price. They want to know what the annual costs of the product are, and so also the service and purchasing costs. Vandeputte also looks at the return on safety: how the right investments in safety result in revenues. ‘If the total cost of ownership is 100, the return on safety may be as much as 200, thanks to a reduction both in absence through illness and in the number of acidents’, Dimitri Brekelmans explains.

The firefighters on both the new Pioneering Spirit, which is an impressive 382 metres long and 124 metres wide, and the other ships now have uniforms that incorporate TenCate Millenia™. The decision to purchase professional firefighting uniforms that exceed the minimum SOLAS requirements was a logical step for Allseas. When it come to construction, equipment and crew - for example firefighting equipment - sea-going ships must comply with the SOLAS guidelines (Safety of Life at Sea) and the Isle of Man guidelines. And here Allseas must, however, also take into consideration factors such as wearing comfort and working in tropical conditions. In particular, heat stress is a risk for the helicopter deck team, which has to be on duty on the helicopter deck half an hour before a landing in temperatures above 30° C. ‘In consultation with Vanderputte they therefore sought an optimal solution in which quality, comfort and price were in balance.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)