The safety of women in the workplace is often disregarded.
They have to make do with men's clothing, having to roll up sleeves and trouser legs, cope with loose gloves, hats, goggles and boots.
Not only is this highly irritating for the worker, but it also puts their safety at a higher risk. Rolling up sleeves can cover the visibility tape making the workwear nonconforming. Baggy sleeves could get caught in machinery. Badly fitted shoes could lead to tripping.
Take it from Transport for London, a company who realised the severity of this issue and did something to solve it.
Melanie Ogden, Northern Line Extension Tunnels and Shafts Project Manager, said: “Finding PPE that fits has always been a challenge for women in engineering, whether it’s rolling up sleeves, holding up trousers or having to wear multiple pairs of socks just to keep our shoes on. A ‘one size fits all’ approach for men and women hasn’t worked, which is why it’s great to see TfL taking a lead in this area. Taking part in the trial to source new women’s PPE has been enjoyable and has resulted in comfortable clothing that allows us to move more freely and work more effectively.”
Miles Ashley, London Underground’s Construction Programme Director, said: “London Underground is committed to increasing the numbers of women working in engineering and construction. While we have a more diverse workforce than ever before, feedback from our staff tells us that our PPE has failed to keep up. It’s clear that universally-sized PPE isn’t fit for purpose for our female staff, and we’re keen to get it right. That’s why we’re introducing new safety clothing that has been designed specifically for women and are working closely with our staff to broaden the range to include safety boots too. London will need more engineers by the end of the decade to build the critical infrastructure we need, so it’s important that we take every step we can to make construction a more welcoming environment for all.”
Below is an image that shows just how different a male fit is compared to a female fit.
Are the female workers in your workplace happy with the clothing, footwear and protection you provide them with?
More importantly, are they safe and conforming?
Contact us to find out more about how we can help revolutionise your workplace to make all your employees happy and safe.