This past 8 November, the leading international event dedicated to safety and health at work ended, with numbers that did betray expectations: A+A closed its doors counting a total of 2,121 exhibitors, of which 70% were international in origin (coming from Australia, China, Russia, passing through Thailand, India, all of Europe and South Africa, without forgetting Brazil and the USA), for a total of 63 nations involved. An event, which for the first time occupied more than 78,000 square metres in ten exhibition halls with over 73,000 members of the trade visiting it.

Excellent results also for the traditional appointment with the “Congress for Occupational Safety and Occupational Medicine”, which is now in its 36th edition, and which welcomed 5,200 visitors.

Sustainability was at the centre of both events, not only as a theme with a number of dedicated events (including for example “Sustainable Textile Manufacturing” or “Fairness in Global Supply Chains”), but also as a holistic concept and basis for the development of a healthy and safe workplace. “I was impressed how our motto ‘People Matter’ really came to life in practice at A+A over the past four days”, commented Wolfram Diener, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.  “Those seeking solutions for the current and imminent changes in our working world – be this through digitalisation or demographic change – will be hard pushed to find them anywhere else but in Düsseldorf”.

In fact, this 360-degree approach to prevention and sustainability regarded the overall proposal of products and innovations presented by exhibitors, as did the wide range of side events like the Special Shows and expert conferences, which covered all aspects of a holistic prevention culture: from corporate health management to personal protection to workplace design. There were then innovations for the digitalisation of the working world, which were especially prominent along the Highlight Route and in the new Start-up Zone.

The edition of A+A that just ended also confirmed the expansion and progressive growth of the segment of Personal Protective Equipment, which has always been the traditionally biggest area at A+A. This is all the more so important when considering the growing number of workers who are no longer young, to whom the market offers an increasing number of solutions. “The PPE market continues to profit from companies’ rising preparedness to better protect and educate their employees”, commented Birgit Horn, Director of A+A 2019, commenting on the multifaceted ranges of protective equipment and protective wear offered at A+A, which again reflected the innovative power of this sector.