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A new facility dedicated to the development of protective clothing is being established in Calgary, Canada.

The city’s Old College is set to join forces with Alberta Garment Manufacturing to launch what is believed to be the first personal protective equipment (PPE) centre in Western Canada.

Expected to open at some point next year, the facility will design, test and manufacture specialised workwear for the construction and energy sectors, as well as the country’s armed forces, which employ more than 100,000 people.

Politician Michelle Rempel said:

"It's looking at how we can make our workplace more safe and certainly when we're looking at labour challenges for the energy industry this is going to have a direct impact on that.”

Around $3m (£1.63m) will be given to the facility by the Canadian Government for the purpose of buying the necessary equipment.

Alberta Garment Manufacturing’s president, Adrian Bussoli, said that while producing its own line of products, the facility will also test the designs of other manufacturers.

Speaking specifically about the necessity of PPE that protects against the country’s icy climate, Bussoli said:

“Canada is known as a cold country. It doesn't have many facilities that can test their cold ratings of products. Now it will have.”

He went on to explain how the country’s oil and gas industry has shown potential, particularly with steam-assisted methods of oil recovery, and that this is an area for which suitable protective clothing needs to be developed.

According to Bussoli, there is no PPE at present capable of properly shielding the wearer against steam-related injuries.

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