Does your company provide appropriately fitting PPE for women? We asked women all over the engineering and construction sector to discuss what they think about the PPE provided to them, and how it could be improved.
Turns out, the industry still has a long way to go - especially when it comes to safety footwear.
What do you think of women's PPE?
We asked, they answered. There is still not adequate PPE available for women in the industry. In fact, people believe that the choice has actually reduced as procurement opportunities have narrowed. Companies generally are now providing better fitting gloves, hard hats and goggles, but the rest of their PPE is generally still stuck in the 'unisex' phase, with size 'small' feeling enormous on most women. In particular, it seems that attention needs to be paid to providing maternity appropriate PPE.
COMPANIES LEADING THE WAY IN WOMEN'S PPE
A few companies are leading the way in providing bespoke PPE for women. One of these is Transport for London, who, after three years of hard work, finally have clothing that properly and specifically fits their female staff. On the left you can see specific female-fit PPE, and on the right is the 'unisex,' one size fits all clothing they had previously been provided. Currently, the female staff are still wearing 'unisex' footwear.
The problem with unisex SAFETY FOOTWEAR
Below are actual quotes from women working at London Underground. With very little choice available on the market, they are still having to make do with smaller sized men's shoes that simply do not fit their feet.
"My boots are too big for me even when I wear thick socks."
"I find them heavy and have tripped on several occasions."
"I walk really far and the boots hurt my feet so much by the movement in the shoe
and the socks against my skin."
"As a small size, there is no choice. The boot supplied is the only one available."
"I do not want to look like a small child in pink boots and oversized PPE."
"They are very uncomfortable and the wrong shape around the ankle."
The V12 solution
We are delighted to be working with Transport for London to bring V12 women's footwear to these staff members, and provide a perfectly fitting, comfortable solution that will leave them free to focus fully on the job at hand, and not their sore feet!
Want to find out more about the differences between male and female fit and the implications this has on footwear? Visit this blog.