The safety cycle — from sport to the workplace

Wednesday, 01 March, 2017

The safety cycle — from sport to the workplace

The uvex brand is synonymous with safety. With over 90 years’ experience in manufacturing a range of products that includes safety eyewear, hearing and hand protection, our global group comprises 48 subsidiaries in 22 countries and is headquartered in Fürth, Germany.

While our history is steeped in the sporting world, the uvex range of products transitions seamlessly into any industry where personal protective equipment is required. We apply a science-based approach to developing new products, manufacturing in our wholly-owned facilities and delivering superior solutions to the industrial health and safety sector.

Our company mission is ‘protecting people’, which proved to be all-too-true in the case of uvex Brand Ambassador and retired Australian track cyclist, Anna Meares.

Australia’s most decorated female track cyclist, Anna won 10 world titles and gold medals at multiple Commonwealth and Olympic Games during her career. Being at the top in track cycling requires strength, power and the ability perform short, sharp, fast manoeuvres. Highlighting the difference between this and multi-stage racing such as the Tour de France, Anna describes herself as ‘the Usain Bolt of cycling’. Given the speeds that riders typically achieve, when things go wrong in this sport, they go spectacularly wrong.

Five months out from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Anna was competing at the World Cup in Los Angeles when she crashed. She suffered a fractured C2 vertebra and a dislocated right shoulder, as well as torn ligaments and tendons. Doctors told Anna if her neck fracture were 2 mm lower, she would have been paralysed from the chin down and require a respirator to breathe.

She says what ultimately saved her was the safety equipment she was using. Her protection that day incorporated a uvex helmet and safety glasses. In addition to broken bones and torn ligaments, she suffered skin abrasions and burns down her entire right side — stretching from eye to ankle — which were the result of sliding across the wooden track at 65 km/h. Anna said she would have undoubtedly suffered eye damage without her uvex safety glasses, which survived without a scratch. She still has the same pair today.

Anna says her strong regard for safety stems from her father, whom she describes as very structured and someone who followed protocol to the nth degree. As an underground coal miner for many years, safety played an important role in his daily life and he instilled this thinking in her.

uvex Safety Australia has earned a reputation for supplying high-quality safety products which deliver superior performance to the Australian market. We are recognised as the market leader in eye-protection and other personal safety products including hearing and hand protection. A winning combination of experience, expertise, solid customer partnerships and an outstanding product portfolio have made us the supplier of choice for many companies in the industrial safety sector.

We want to make safety easy, which is why we offer a full workplace assessment and hazard identification program. Our technical sales team will work with you to identify potential workplace risks and to help refine existing processes and procedures to minimise or eliminate the threat of injury. Our collaborative approach combines your work environment knowledge with our technical experience to deliver documented recommendations for a safer workplace. We’ll supply you with the products you need, along with site-specific reference material.

Anna hasn’t completely left the cycling world behind and is actively involved in the Amy Gillett Foundation, which aims to create a safer environment for Australian cyclists. Her strong commitment to safety in both the workplace and the sporting arena makes her an ideal Brand Ambassador for uvex and we are thrilled to have her as part of the team.

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