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Bright Ideas

How JSP are brightening up Britain’s future

If you see someone working outside in winter using road safety products, ‘above the neck’ personal protective equipment (PPE), or spill management and environment protection products then there’s a strong chance they are one of the 40 million people using or wearing products manufactured by JSP.

Slingsby have been distributing JSP products for over 10 years and so we sat down with Europe’s leading independent manufacturer to find out what the future holds and how the company stays at the top of its game.

JSP’s rise to fame is certainly an impressive story. Where did it all begin?

JSP was established in 1964 in Oxford and has gone on to create impressive headquarters complete with a manufacturing plant, a PPE innovation centre and a dedicated research and development team in the famous university city. Today they have 230 employees and supply a full range of products, from reflective panels on safety barriers to head protection to help workers stay safe. What industries use your products? JSP’s products are suitable for a whole range of highly demanding sectors including automotive, oil and gas, energy and utilities, engineering, construction, and civils.

Do you manufacture in the UK?

Yes, even though a lot of companies moved manufacturing offshore during the 1990’s and 2000’s, JSP retained its British manufacturing base and invested in automation to improve efficiency and increase capacity. This decision has paid dividends and we now compete on a global level with our exports reaching over 90 countries.

Have you had to open any overseas sites to service this international demand?

Alongside the UK, we have opened two overseas regional production sites to feed local demand in the Middle East and Asia but we still produce 85% of our products in the UK.

When the lives of so many workers throughout the world are in your hands, how do you ensure that every single product is manufactured to the same high standard?

When you are producing safety products you have to be certain of their quality every time. To ensure this, JSP operates a stringent quality control system under our ISO 9001 Quality Management System and testing covers everything from measuring light reflected by barrier boards to the impact protection of safety helmets. Every JSP product is manufactured to not only conform to but exceed, European, US and international performance specifications with testing carried out in our own extensive BS EN IS0 9002 registered test laboratories, and we’ve won several awards as a result of this attention to detail.

Really, what awards have you won?

We’ve picked up a wide range of highly prestigious industry awards across numerous products but most recently we won the Frost & Sullivan 2011 New Product Innovation award for Filterspec®. This product is a new concept in eye and respiratory protection combining a mask and disposable respiratory filter with safety spectacles or goggles. (See our New Innovations on page 10 for more details).

And what are the benefits of it over two separate products?

It allows both protective devices to work independently but in harmony with each other. This solves the age-old problem of misting lenses and incompatibility when wearing a mask with safety eyewear. In addition, it’s specifically designed to fit all head shapes and profiles and the result is the best face fitting product on the market.

That sounds impressive, what other innovations are you currently launching?

We’ve just introduced our new Evolution® series of head protection which includes the EvoLite®. This is the strongest/lightest EN397 helmet that you can buy weighing in at under 300 grams. It is also the only helmet on the market that’s designed to give a 3D fit with head depth and size circumference adjustment so it’s extremely comfortable.

And is there anything else we should look out for?

Our new EvoLite® CR2 is really exciting the market because it’s a huge step forward in terms of reflective helmets. It uses the same innovative high intensity reflective materials that are used on motorway road signs which means it works in the very darkest environments. With such visibility this product immediately improves safety and there’s no doubt it will help save lives.

And can employers add logos and branding to these products?

Yes, working in conjunction with our distributor partners such as Slingsby we regularly print or emboss logos on products by employers that want to demonstrate that they are providing the very best safety equipment, raise their company profile or even improve site security. We can do this on all products including helmets, spectacles, faceshields and ear defenders as well as cones and barriers. We can even manufacture products in specific corporate colours.

Finally what would you say to anyone considering buying one of your competitor’s products?

When you can’t afford to take a chance on your own or your workforce’s personal safety, you can’t do better than rely on a British manufactured product made to exacting requirements under a stringent quality control regime. We’re always one step ahead of our competitors and this is demonstrated by us being the only manufacturer to produce a helmet capable of meeting EN14052 which is the toughest industrial head protection standard and requires four times the protection level of EN397 as well as side impact protection. Our products exceed test requirements and push the boundaries of protection.

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