Home » After motorcyclists, Dainese wants to save workers from accidents

After motorcyclists, Dainese wants to save workers from accidents

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After motorcyclists, Dainese wants to save workers from accidents

Every day almost 1600 accidents at work occur in Italy. Saturdays, Sundays and Christmas included. About 80 of these accidents occur due to falls from heights. Spinal injuries are the third leading cause of death, according to INAIL. Starting from these premises, D-Air Lab, the innovative SME founded in Vicenza, in 2015, by Lino Dainese, the one who revolutionized the world of motorbikes with his suits, created WorkAir. An anti-injury vest, which cushions the wearer’s fall. Workers and more. Since its launch on the market last year, after 2,000 hours of experimentation and 286 impact tests, it has already been chosen by large companies such as Enel and Tim. But the road to raising companies’ awareness of these new means of protection is still an uphill battle, if we consider, according to data from the recent parliamentary commission of inquiry, that accidents at work cost us from 3 to 6 percent of GDP.

From motorbikes to safety

Dainese has put all the experience and technologies studied, over the years, for the protection of sports champions, such as Valentino Rossi and Sofia Goggia, into the safety sector. Coming to this new patent, which promises to reduce accidents at work and which has already won the ADI Design Index 2022 innovation award, entering the competition for the Compasso d’Oro. Thanks to an algorithm, the WorkAir vest it is able to recognize a possible fall and, inflating in 40 milliseconds, less than half the blink of an eye, protects the wearer’s back and chest. The project required over 5 years of studies by the D-Air Lab team before being placed on the market and is now the only one in the world to have obtained certification as PPE, opening the doors to large-scale commercialization.

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But the use of air protection systems for the human body in D-Air Lab has also found concrete expression in another system. This is FutureAge, created for the elderly and those who have mobility difficulties in the event of a fall. This is another serious problem, which affects around 120 thousand people a year in Italy, who fall and fracture their femur. A cost for the healthcare system of almost 1.2 billion between hospitalization, surgery and recovery therapies. Like Workair, FutureAge uses air to protect the hips and the head of the femur from possible fractures, through a belt equipped with sensors that recognize the wearer’s movements and activate the airbag if necessary.

Lots of research

“For both solutions, the potential market before us is infinite – he explains the administrator of the tech company Vittorio Cafaggi -. Of course, it’s about making them known and understanding their importance, but we have also received a lot of appreciation from abroad, in particular from Japan and France.” The heart of D-Air Lab is clearly the R&D sector, in which more than 10 million have been invested since its inception. In the portfolio today there are 28 patents, including those granted, applications submitted and utility models to protect existing or under development products.

The high experience accumulated in the sector of human body protection has also allowed the company to work on complex materials, such as those for astronaut suits, in a project studied with the Italian space star Samantha Cristoforetti. Or to develop Antarctica, a protective suit to protect researchers working at minus 80°C from the cold. Many excellent products, ready to hit the market and, perhaps, give life to new autonomous startups.

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