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15 September 2010 | PR 10/137

Loughborough University represents UK in EU workwear development project

Loughborough University is participating in a three year European Union funded project which could see a new generation of workwear being developed and produced to prevent workers in hot industrial environments suffering from heat exhaustion.

The PROSPIE Project is developing the workwear, which features a dynamic cooling system, and is set to become an integrated part of industrial safety systems with its ability to alert a worker and their supervisors when their critical heat limits begin to exceed.

Dr George Havenith, Professor of Environmental Physiology and Ergonomics at the University’s Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, is leading the project for the UK. He said: “We expect this workwear to reduce work related accidents through the early warning system alerting the wearer they are at risk of suffering from hyperthermia. The use of this protective clothing could see a substantial reduction of heat related accidents, therefore potentially reducing absence from work, disturbance in production process and lead to increased productivity of workers in hot environments.

“We expect the results of the PROSPIE Project to be transferable to other sectors, for example first response emergency teams like firemen and paramedics, sports and healthcare for the elderly.”

The clothing’s integrated warning system measures the physiological conditions of the wearer as well as the conditions in their workplace environment leading to a swift identification of potentially dangerous situations. If the wearer does not react to the alert, supervisors will be alerted to the danger.

As part of the design process special attention is being given to safety of workers, how comfortable the protective clothing is, the reliability of the functions, the production and maintenance of it, training the wearers and potential buyers for the product.



For all media enquiries contact:

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  1. The PROSPIE Project will support the EU initiative on protective clothing resulting in the strengthening position of the EU-textile and clothing industry.
  2. PROSPIE stands for ‘Protective responsive outer shell for people in industrial environment’
  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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