If you cut them, do they not bleed? A London appeals court awarded a street cleaner an estimated $150,000 after he cut himself in performance of his duties. Wading into bags of refuse can be risky, with sharp metals, broken glass, splintered wood and even dog bites an occupational hazard for sanitation workers. PPSS Ltd., Knaresborough, England, manufacturer of cut-resistant protective garments, developed a solution: lower leg protectors made of Cut-Tex® PRO protective fabric, a combination of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and other technical fibers woven by special high-density knitting machines.
The leggings, which resemble those used by cross-country skiers, are available as stand-alone garments or can be reinforced with an outer layer of INVISTA Cordura® 600. The resistance of a fabric to blade or bite cuts is ranked on a one-to-five scale, with Level 5 equal to +20 N (notch, or level of impact, with a higher number referring to tougher substances). Cut-Tex PRO tested at +25.2 N, higher than Kevlar® and other protective fabrics, yet is the same weight as a thick cotton t-shirt. It is machine washable and (since it is used as an inner layer) comes in a standard grey.