A+A is the world’s leading fair for safety, security and health at work. The 2019 edition will be held at Dusseldorf in November. A curtain-raiser.

Today, from an international point of view, India isn’t among the top investors in the field of workers’ safety, business security and the physical and mental health of personnel. However, it’s sure that in the near future the Indian market of workwear, corporatewear and all kinds of PPE (personal protective equipment) will significantly grow along with increasing awareness of safety, security and health issues. For Indian visitors, the bi-annual trade fair A, which takes place in Dusseldorf (Germany) from November 5 to 8 could function as an eye-opener.

A+A is a successful international trade fair. In its domain, it’s the largest. In November, some 2,000 exhibitors will host over 70,000 visitors from all over the world, including from countries like China and India. In the past, satisfaction about A+A was impressively high as well among visitors (97 per cent of them expressed very high or high satisfaction in 2017) as among exhibitors (90 per cent).

Birgit Horn, director of A+A, thinks that it will continue attracting more exhibitors and visitors in the future. She argues that increasing international connectivity is changing company structures and production conditions— an evolution which of course has an effect on workers and workplaces. Therefore, company leaders who want to be informed about the best solutions that suppliers of PPE are offering should treat themselves on a ticket to Dusseldorf.

Worldwide Growth Market

Why can it be reasonably expected that the Indian market for workwear, corporatewear and a broad array of products and services aiming to boost the wellbeing of workers will significantly grow?

Because it’s probably an inevitable consequence of GDP (gross domestic product) growth and increasing safety awareness. GDP annual growth rate in India averaged 6.21 per cent from 1951 until 2019 and is expected to remain among the highest in the world. This implies that masses of Indians are starting or continuing their climb on the famous Pyramid of Maslow. When their basic physiological needs are met (including food, water, sleep, clothes, shelter, sex), people everywhere tend to pursue safety, belongingness, esteem, and finally self-actualisation. It’s clear that companies providing well-adapted workwear and shoewear to their employees respond to the latter’s need of safety and that nice corporatewear boosts workers’ company belongingness and self-esteem.

Much can also be expected from a pending—hopefully successful— accounting revolution. The highlyneeded transition towards a low carbon and circular economy can’t succeed without new accounting methods which also tackle the taboo issue of “externalities”. Until now, an enormous number of industrial and commercial activities negatively affect other parties without this being reflected in market prices. It can be expected that the calculation of the true cost of economic activities will teach companies and public organisations to better balance “hard” investments (buildings, equipment, machines, computers) to more “soft” investments like those in safety, security and workers’ physical and mental health.