Personal Protective equipments reduce the risk of getting harmed during an accident at work place. PPE are the essential requisite for everyone who work in a hazardous environment.
The world has seen a rapid growth of women workforce across all industries. An increased awareness towards stringent regulatory compliances and realization of increased hazards at the workplace due to ill-fitting of common-styled PPE has led to a high demand of solutions that are designed for their specific body structure.
Due to lack of availability of PPE products in adequate sizes and designs for women, they are bound to use the same PPE items produced for their men counterparts. When women try to alter the standard PPE given to them for better fit, however, they may compromise the inherent safety properties of the gear resulting in unsatisfactory performance, poor morale at the workplace.
Manufacturers are now paying sufficient attention to the increasing need for specific PPE for women and developing new designs and ideas that fit woman’s anatomy.
Here are emerging trends in women’s PPE:
Manufacturers are designing women’s PPE having body types in mind. They have developed specialty apparel like maternity wear for pregnant women who need protection at work. Some parts of the garments have been narrowed and some part need more space for mobility and flexibility. There are some manufacturers and brands who are bringing their own unique look and style, with great fit and functional products for women.
Modification of standards
As women are moving into male-dominated occupations, there is a need for the global standards to be modified, taking into account women’s comfort, safety & protection concerns. Major changes required to cover women would be more oriented to size and shape differences.
Working in PPE can cause overheating and discomfort in hot and humid climate. It is all the more important in case of women that a lightweight, breathable and comfortable PPE is provided to them to reduce the heat stress and provide complete comfort to them.
Women’s PPE is designed with materials that can provide an added level of protection. For instance, safety footwear for women is now being made with carbon nanofibers, which are ultra-lightweight, strong and has excellent thermal stability.
The International Safety Equipment Association advises PPE fit should be communicated so that a worker can understand their size, and employers must make an effort to purchase the sizes needed, no matter the quantity. Manufacturers and distributors should be aware of woman safety regulations.
Finding the appropriate sizes of PPE to properly outfit the entire workforce should be a key component of any safety program. Ultimately, offering PPE that accommodates all workers is the right thing to do. All workers, male or female, deserve PPE that fits properly for individual use, is comfortable and compliant to industry norms.