D3O: Pioneering Impact Protection for Industrial Workers

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Bill VanMullekom, Executive Vice President
When D3O, a forerunner in impact protection safety equipment, announced its partnership with the mobile accessories manufacturer Gear4, it was safe to say that mobile phone cases were set for a significant overhaul in terms of drop protection. Combining D3O’s ingenious materials that can withstand high-energy impact forces and Gear4’s innovative phone case design, Gear4 have grown exponentially over the last 3 years and are now being sold in all 1,700 Verizon stores across North America. However, this collaboration is just one of the many successful alliances forged by D3O in its journey of bringing superior impact protection products to consumers as well as industrial and defense sectors. D3O’s work to enhance the impact protection performance of head to toe equipment in the personal protective equipment (PPE) industry is a major milestone.

D3O continuously assesses industry standards for designing protective workwear, and in some cases, drives forwards the creation of new standards to ensure workers are better protected from impact-related injuries.

“North American standards previously provided no coverage for back of hand injuries caused by task-based impact threats, so we chaired a working group to address this gap, leading to the recently launched ANSI/ISEA 138 Back of Hand Impact Protection Standard,” elaborates Bill VanMullekom, Executive Vice President D3O US LLC, who leads the Defense and Industrial PPE sectors for D3O. D3O worked in close collaboration with the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) to develop this new standard, focused on providing Health and Safety Engineers (HSEs) with the needed performance benchmark to select the right gloves for their workers based on the assigned job task.

Simultaneously, D3O is also committed to developing effective solutions to meet these new standards with the market leading glove manufacturers in North America. Boasting partnerships with respected companies across the mining, construction, and oil & gas industries, D3O addresses a myriad of challenges faced by its clients.

“Stemming from the challenge of workers potentially being exposed to flash fire, cut, and other occupational hazards, we have observed that HSEs often struggle to navigate the number of PPE options available to them,” points out VanMullekom.
Considering PPE to be the last line of defense, VanMullekom’s team at D3O designs protective wear for workers by taking into account the requirement for comfort, dexterity and temperature stability, all without compromising impact protection performance.

We have materials specifically developed to increase the impact performance of back of hand protective bumpers while reducing bulk

In addition to development work with partners, D3O’s Global Innovation Center designs and develops material innovations which enable more protective, more lightweight products to be built. The company has developed multiple product families and constituent materials, each of which when paired with intelligent product design deliver performance benefits. “We have materials specifically developed to increase the impact performance of back of hand protective bumpers while reducing bulk. We deliver products the military and law enforcement communities trust for their helmet pad systems; our range of material capabilities allows us to optimize our material and design solutions to best meet our partners’ needs.” adds VanMullekom.

What makes D3O the market leading impact protection company that it is, is its hands-on experience across diverse industries that include Sports, Motorcycling, Defense, Consumer Electronics and Industrial PPE. Years of acumen in the PPE space makes it possible for D3O to cross-fertilize ideas generated from different industries to create product platforms hat suit the needs of every client. “We are currently leveraging learnings from our work within PPE to bring to market improved ruggedization for consumer phone cases, while developing our next-generation lightweight military helmet pad system,” adds VanMullekom.

Outlining plans for the future, VanMullekom states that “As the North American PPE market continues to grow, D3O will continue to push the limits of impact performance through product platform innovation across our various sectors, allowing us to keep more people protected.”


Croydon, London

Bill VanMullekom, Executive Vice President

D3O enable and empower people who use our products to take risks, challenge their limits and stay safe. For the world-class brands we’re proud to partner with, we create market-defining products that add value and create an advantage. "A UK based company specializing in impact protection and shock absorption. It develops unique, high performance impact protection technologies that are used by global brands in sports, electronics, motorcycle, defense, and industrial workwear"