The latest airbag-packing safety clothing to come out of the Dainese Group's D-Air Lab is a jacket aimed at protecting workers from impact due to a fall from on high. Currently undergoing testing in power stations, the appropriately-named Safety Jacket is based on D-Air technology already found in motorcycle and ski clothing.
This latest application of the D-Air safety technology is thanks to a collaboration with occupational health academics at Bologna's Università Alma Mater Studiorum and Policlinico di Sant'Orsola-Malpighi following a project brief from power company Enel.
The jacket is made up of two parts – electronic and pneumatic. The electronic system features three accelerometers and three gyroscopes that send continuous data to a computer brain running a sophisticated algorithm which looks for fall conditions.
If an accident occurs and staff working at height start to fall, the pneumatic part of the system is kicked into action, inflating airbags strategically positioned around the worker's body to offer "maximum protection of the body parts exposed to trauma in the case of a fall from a height of up to two meters, a situation that does not require use of a harness."
Dainese says that the system can also protect against "pendulum-effect" impacts for harness-wearing staff working above 2 meters.
The Safety Jacket prototype is currently undergoing real-world testing at Enel power stations, ahead of refinement and commercial production.