NIOSH Crowdsources with HeroX for Better-Fitting Protective Clothing for US Workers

Challenge Seeks to Address Fit-Related Protective Clothing Inequities with Prize Purse of $55K

ATLANTA, April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has teamed up with HeroX, a leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, to launch the crowdsourcing competition, "The NIOSH Protective Clothing Challenge—Leaving No Body Unprotected." The Challenge seeks solutions that consider the broad spectrum of U.S. workers in relation to factors that may influence fit such as body size and shape, gender, race, ethnicity, religious or cultural practices, or specific work tasks.

"Properly fitting protective clothing is critical to ensuring the safety and health of workers who rely on this type of personal protective equipment," says Dr. Maryann D’Alessandro, Director of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory at NIOSH. "This Challenge sources innovative ideas to support equitable protections across the full spectrum of the U.S. workforce."

Traditional sizing approaches, designs, and knowledge management materials do not accommodate the shapes, sizes, or the religious or cultural practices of some workers. Large-volume procurement pricing strategies can negatively impact protective clothing availability for select worker populations. Further, on-the-job access to protective clothing that fits all workers can be disrupted by a myriad of logistics challenges within the work environment.

 "This Challenge represents another way crowdsourcing can bring simple improvements to an important but often overlooked space," says Kal K. Sahota, President and Chief Executive Officer at HeroX. "HeroX’s community is driven to make impactful changes, and this is a perfect opportunity to do so."

The Challenge: This Challenge focuses on innovations to address fit-related protective clothing inequities for medical gowns, firefighter turnout coats and pants, and protective coveralls for all sectors.

The Prize: Up to five teams whose ideas help overcome poor fit in protective clothing will be awarded a total prize purse of $55,000.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To accept the challenge, visit


HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini, and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

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Media Contact:
Alexandra Pony