September 22, 2022

Adjustable Gown Wins First Prize in NIOSH Protective Clothing Challenge

NIOSH has announced five recipients of prizes in a competition designed to identify solutions for overcoming poor fit in workers’ protective clothing. The first prize of $25,000 was awarded for the submission of a self-conforming gown that adapts to different body types, according to a NIOSH press release. Other submissions that received prizes included a pattern drafting method that can be used to produce more inclusive turnout gear for firefighters, a surgical sleeve with an internal wicking environment and an impervious external barrier, a proposed certification that organizations would earn by helping their employees become more aware of PPE fit, and a unisex sizing system for coveralls.

“It’s vital that workers have access to properly fitting protective clothing—not only for their own comfort, but for their safety,” said Maryann D’Alessandro, director of NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.

The agency received more than 35 submissions and distributed a total of $55,000 to prize winners. More information is available on the competition webpage.