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Thanks to unique honeycomb technology, REDBACKS™ Kneepads have been tackling the foam kneepad market head on and picking up awards along the way. We found out a little more about the product

to see why it’s turning heads. Based in Northamptonshire, manufacturers CL-7 Ltd, are the company behind the innovative cushioning technology that saw REDBACKS™ Kneepads elected as winner of the ‘2012 SATRA Best Innovation in Occupational PPE Award’.

If the product hasn’t caught your eye already, REDBACKS™ are 100% recyclable, non-foam based, safety kneepads, which maintain their maximum cushioning effect throughout consecutive or prolonged use. According to CL-7 Ltd’s CEO, Cliff Lockyer, they “can help prevent up to six months downtime and subsequent loss of earnings through knee injury in the workplace.”

Cliff commented: “There are over 80,000 registered knee operations by the NHS each year, 60% of which are due to injuries resulting from soft tissue wear and tear, bursitis or osteoarthritis caused by inadequate protection whilst kneeling. It is vital, therefore, that in order to avoid costly downtime, as well as the unnecessary pain and discomfort, employers and the


self-employed should ensure they provide their workers and themselves with the best possible knee protection.”

The result of four years’ of research and development, REDBACKS™ Kneepads feature a soft and flexible Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) leaf-spring, set within a unique honeycomb matrix. This new cushioning technology distributes body weight evenly, elevating the knees to reduce pressure on knee, leg, ankle and foot joints, whilst minimising the risk of possible injury from sharp or penetrating objects. In comparison to most foam materials, which provide cushioning by air pockets that collapse over a short amount of time, tests conducted by Professor N. Chockalingam at Staffordshire University have proven that the thermoplastics used in the new REDBACKS™ Kneepad will perform at a higher cushioning rate for a much longer period of time than EVA or PU equivalents.

REDBACKS™ Kneepads are fully CE approved and proven to bring relief from pain or discomfort either during or as a result of kneeling, and

dramatically reduce the possibility of future injury and incapacitation. They are flexible, easy to fit tightly and comfortably into most knee-pocketed work trousers, and are breathable, allowing wearers to keep cool and dry in hot or damp conditions. As well as that, the non-slip, abrasive- resistant cover also protects the knees from cold surfaces.

An anti-microbial version of the kneepad, independently tested to ISO 22196, helps prevent the spread of diseases such as E-Coli, MRSA, Salmonella and other harmful bacteria in environments such as hospitals, care homes, schools and the food service industry.

International recognition for the kneepads is now beginning to gather momentum, with a distribution agreement signed with Feiber APS of Denmark who exclusively distribute Carhartt Clothing for the Nordic region (Norway, Denmark and Sweden). Distribution agreements have also been made with France, Germany, Spain, Holland and Belgium and

discussions are being held with major distributors in Canada and the US.

The kneepad is only the first of a number of planned products which are being developed by CL-7 Ltd using the patented REDBACKS™ cushioning leaf spring/Matrix cushioning technology. The patent has recently been approved for the design of a sole for walking/safety boots, and a government grant has been awarded to accelerate the design and production of comfortable and protective footwear for those whose feet have been affected by diabetes or who suffer other forms of foot pain or sensitivity.

A two-year research project in conjunction with Johnson Controls, Jaguar Landrover and Coventry University also has been agreed to find ways in which the REDBACKS™ cushioning technology can assist in reducing the future energy requirements of motor vehicles, in preparation for government legislation due to come into effect in 2018.

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