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Illuminating Safety: A Tale of PPE Innovation and Its Impact on Employee Relocation

🤐 True Story: Names and company details have been omitted to maintain confidentiality.

Tuesday Tale:

Many moons ago, while working in Central London and living in Kent, I engaged in a memorable demonstration at an oil and gas drilling company. This event came after my days of introducing a new lingerie brand in Northern England, where heavy sweaters dominate the fashion scene and “apple catchers” are a staple undergarment (if you’re curious, a quick Google search will enlighten you). But that’s a tale for another time. The Middle East was calling my name.

While providing workwear to corporate accounts, I encountered a situation that starkly highlighted the inadequacies in the company’s protective equipment. In a decisive meeting with the Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) team, I proposed a bold test: to evaluate the effectiveness of their “Grab Bag” PPE, which drillers typically grabbed on their way to a rig.

Present in the meeting were the head of HSE, the head of procurement, a manager, and my new boss, who had recently been tasked with sourcing a fabric capable of withstanding intense heat and flash flames. Our solution was Dupont’s Nomex fabric, which came in a variety of colours and was suitable for the harsh conditions of Middle Eastern oil rigs.

To demonstrate, I took a piece of the existing PPE—an overall embroidered with the company logo and other identifiers—and snipped off a corner. Using tweezers from my handbag, I held the fabric over a cup of water and set it alight.

The reaction was immediate and palpable, akin to a sand lizard darting through the Arabian desert. Mortification filled the room as the inadequacy of their current PPE became undeniably evident.

This moment of truth has stayed with me, influencing my current role. Today, I continue to light metaphorical fires in meetings to drive home the importance of robust protection and innovation.

At Relocate MENA and Relo-Global, born from a profound desire to enhance safety and efficiency, protection is a core value we cherish deeply. Like essential PPE, the world of relocation and mobility was ripe for a transformative approach—an eye-opening, sharp poke that revolutionized how we source, secure, and manage the effective relocation of people for work, safeguarding both individuals and their organizations.

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