Proper PPE saves lives

Proper PPE Saves Lives! Why isn't it Designed For Women?

Posted By Kerry on 2017-06-23 13:06

Why are women forced to perform tasks in PPE designed specifically for men? 

You know, a recent study we saw shocked us, I mean really caught us by surprise. As we go about our business providing health and safety services across the UK, we often see women wearing PPE that isn't really tailored for them. It often struck us as odd, but we didn't think that much about it. When you wake up to go work in the morning, what are your first thoughts? Running late? Meeting deadlines? Impressing the new boss? Now imagine being one of the 2/3rds of women right now who wake up; who work in the emergency services, manufacturing and engineering.... Who don't have PPE fitted to their bodies but to the physique of men.

What are your thoughts now? For me personally I'd have a nagging doubt at the back of my mind, wondering if the 1 thing thats suppossed to keep me save in a hazzordous or even life threatening situation is going to help support me or make me fail.

This is an issue that was meant to be addressed yesterday however may not be spoken about tomorrow. The study said:

UK study shows less than one-third of women workers have properly fitting PPE

Only 29 percent of women who wear personal protective equipment on the job in the United Kingdom receive PPE specifically contoured to their gender, according to a recent report from the Trades Union Congress, a UK-based federation of labor unions. Researchers surveyed more than 5,000 women in various industries, including emergency services, retail, manufacturing and engineering. Of the women surveyed, 57 percent reported that their PPE hindered their work either “sometimes” or “significantly,” including 95 percent of respondents in the emergency services industry.

Other findings of the study were as follows:

  • 41 percent of respondents said the protective pants their employers issued were inappropriate.
  • 35 percent who wore overalls said the garments were improper for the task at hand.
  • Half of the pregnant women surveyed were forced to curtail their normal workload or adjust their role because of a lack of suitable PPE.

Ill Fitting PPE

Numerous UK standards require employers to provide proper PPE to workers free of charge. That PPE should be adequate to protect them. Ill fitting PPE is a cause of accidents so it shocks us that the bulk of PPE is still not necessarily designed for women, the report states.

“I’m shocked that so many women – even those working in frontline emergency services – do not have the right protective clothing to do their jobs safely,” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said in an April 28 press release. “Bosses’ complacency risks serious injury. It shouldn't be hard to ensure protective uniforms come in men’s and women’s sizes.” 

Our PPE Store

As the date nears for the launch of our PPE site. We want to know if this an issue you or someone close by are affected by. Get in touch today as we want to know how we can help you focus on your career and not on whether or not you can 'get by' with inadequate personal protection equipment. 

If you have any questions about occupational health surveillance services in the UK, or you are looking for health and safety services in Leicester or across the UK, don't hesitate to call us on 01455 234 600 or contact us online. 

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