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StickerGID ENG Blauw 300 DPIWith his firm AJE B.V., Koot Engel optimises technical and production processes within very diverse companies. Apart from that, he designs products and concepts in 3D. He possesses very broad technical knowhow and developed the RSS fall protection system together with Jan Bakker.

It all began with a stainless steel prototype at the beginning of this century. "Together with Jan Bakker, we modified the 1st design", says Koot Engel. "The prototype of the fall protection system was heavy, expensive to build and awkward in use. With Jan Bekker's practical experience and my technical knowhow we kept improving today's fall protection system from RSS and optimised it to become what it is now."

According to Koot Engel, the design philosophy behind the fall protection system from RSS is marked by 5 key criteria:
  1. Safety. People who have to work on roofs need to be properly protected to prevent accidents. The system itself has to be light to ease the strain on people. It cannot have sharp edges on which people might injure themselves. RSS falls under EN13374 safety class C, the highest class attainable at the moment.
  2. Design philosophy. Adding as many features as possible to as few components as possible during the design and development phase created a design that looks simple.
  3. Simplicity. The system needs to consist of as few components as possible, so that people can quickly install and dismantle it. Without aids or tools.
  4. Technical feasibility. The system was made from the outset based on the latest technology in the field of 3D laser cutting. In that way, we could make components that simply click into one another, but which are also visually attractive. Anyone can install and dismantle it without having to use superfluous screws and components.
  5. Affordability. Because the system consists of only a few components and is produced based on the latest technologies, the production costs can be kept low. This way, costs can also be saved in the fabrication, storage and purchase of the system.

Koot Engel enjoys the cooperation with Jan Bakker: "We complement one another. Jan knows exactly what the customer wants. In combination with my technical expertise, that delivers innovative systems like RSS," says Koot. Other projects, such as the transport system from RSS and the RSS Railway Safety System, have already emerged from the cooperation.

The system from RSS Rail has won several prizes. In 2012 it won the Good Industrial Design Award, better known as GIO. To be eligible for that seal of quality a product should not only be beautiful, but its functionality, originality, respect, value in use and innovativeness are also key criteria. A GIO Award is a vote of confidence in the commercial strength of the product.

With Rail Safety Systems, RSS also won the Rail-Tech Europe Innovation Award in 2011. This prestigious prize is awarded by an international jury to the most innovative product based on inventiveness, sustainability and expected market share. The jury's comments on the design were "the long road to simplicity"; that is the finest compliment you can get as a designer.

In the future Jan Bakker and Koot Engel are hoping to bring more new products to market in their creative, functional and innovative manner, which will lift safety at work to a higher plane.
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