Digital revolution in the world of safetyInterview with Jean-François Sol-Dourdin – Director of the Risk Management Division at Reed Expositions/Expoprotection
What is the forecasted turnout and what can we expect from the next edition of Expoprotection?
Expoprotection has grown exponentially over the years and today it represents not only the leading event in France for safety, but is also the event of reference in Europe every two years, considering its annual alternation with the A+A exhibition, a worldwide leader in the sector.
At the appointment with Expoprotection, which will be held from 6 to 8 November, more than 20 thousand professional visitors are expected, while in terms of exhibiting companies, we have more than 400 direct participants and around 750 exhibitors total, with 40 percent of this number arriving from abroad. These are figures, which are potentially destined to rise in the future, if you consider that the safety and risk prevention and management industry is constantly growing, in countertrend to what is occurring in mature economies like the ones in European countries.
What is the role of Italy in the safety market and what kind of representation does it have at the Show?
Italian participation in the 2018 edition will occupy an exhibition area of around 3,200 square metres, which is around 15% of the total. There will mainly be companies specialised in occupational safety and workwear, which will include leading and extremely important realities on the international panorama. Italy, in fact, like most advanced countries, is increasingly attentive to safety and risk prevention at work and in civil society.
What are the new trends in the safety market?
Without a doubt, the sector is strongly characterised by the digital revolution, which involves a number of sectors and environments: from the organisation of cities to services and occupational safety. In the field of workwear, this also translates into the development and progressive growth of PPE, which, for example, can alert workers of actions they are undertaking that might present risks to their health and safety. Expoprotection will shine the spotlight on these new evolutions in safety, as can be seen this edition’s theme of “The Impact of the Digital Revolution on Prevention and the Resolution of Risks”.
Naturally, the increased availability of data and its management creates problems connected to the protection of individual privacy. Accordingly, it will be increasingly necessary in the future to find an equilibrium between these two opposite needs.
Very important is also the development of new materials with integrated electronic devices that allow, for example, for the resolution of problems connected to muscular pain and posture or allow for direct communication with workers without distracting them or interrupting them in their work.
What can you tell me about footwear?
In the field of footwear production, the latest breakthroughs regard above all the development of footwear through 3D printers, seamless footwear, and innovations for higher performance soles. When speaking of fashion in general, there is also a focus on the construction of workwear in terms of movement: the dynamic and ergonomic dimension, in fact, are considered two of the main guidelines in innovation. Naturally, there is also a growing focus on lightness, use of antibacterial materials, etc.
How will these new trends be represented at the Show?
At the fair there will be numerous ‘Village Experts’ dedicated to different cutting-edge and relevant themes, as well as an area dedicated to Start-ups and the fruit of their research. As always, the most innovative products will also be rewarded by a jury of experts with the Trofei Expoprotection awards. Finally, there will be seminars, conferences, and workshops, which will serve as catalysts in attracting a numerous and authentically interested public, with more than 5 thousand operators in attendance at the 2016 edition.