Anyone who is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) knows that it is not unlike choosing the clothes you wear: each person may have strong and differing opinions about how it should look, feel and perform. From the smallest earplugs to full-body fall protection harnesses, if it doesn’t measure up to a worker’s personal standards, quite often, they won’t use it.
It’s for that reason that 3M’s product development processes are so rigorous. We employ a stage-gate approach that incorporates the performance of the product, quality requirements both for the product and its manufacturing, as well as continuous improvement plans as we scale up and launch new products. Through these innovations, we are able to create products that help employers solve unique safety challenges in ways that we believe sets us apart.
Our greatest asset in product development: You.
Finally, perhaps the most important contributing factor to the quality of our PPE safety solutions is you, the customer. That’s because so many of the products we create are driven by customer needs and worker-wearer insights. We involve you in the development process to ensure that we are aware of—and have the opportunity to explore—the details important to you.
This has led us to combine and innovate solutions that have advanced the ways companies approach health and safety challenges. For example, 3M has been a leader in advancing the concept of fit testing for hearing protection. Although regulators have not formally adopted any requirements in this area, fit testing of hearing protectors is broadly recognized as a best practice in the industry.
We know that the results of this approach speak for themselves. 3M has some of the most recognizable and respected products in many categories of PPE and has a track record for introducing industry-shifting technologies. But we know there is always room for improvement as needs change and science advances – this is why we refuse to slow down.
Advancing the science of safety for your worksite means using high-quality, reliable PPE solutions that will stand the test of time while remaining open to new offerings that will benefit you and your workers.