The importance of proper equipment for female construction workers…

Currently, females comprise only 10% of the construction industry. While there has been significant progress in female representation in the construction industry in recent years, there is still room for growth, particularly in ensuring women feel included in this male-dominated field.  

One way to help women feel included is to recognize the importance of providing women with proper PPE so they are able to perform their jobs safely and effectively. Regardless of the type of job performed within the company, females should have the opportunity to have the proper PPE to be a part of the team.  

So, what is the difference between proper PPE for males versus female construction workers?  

Well, the look of the equipment is relatively similar to the male’s PPE design, however, there are a few modifications to consider for females which Safety and Health Magazine identified as: 

  • Narrower shoulders 
  • More tapered waistline 
  • Wider sweep (hips) or side slits  
  • Higher zippers/closures for more coverage/security 

Although these may seem like slight differences, these modifications greatly help reduce safety concerns for female construction workers. In general, improper PPE can produce numerous hazards. For example, if hard hats and eyewear don’t fit correctly, then there is a greater risk that they can fall off. Similarly, females have a higher likelihood of tripping and possibly inuring themselves on the job if there is not proper footwear available in the market. Furthermore, baggy clothing can also increase the risk of the material getting caught in the machines. 

Providing the proper equipment for females will not only promote inclusivity in the workplace but will also greatly reduce safety risks. Hopefully, by recognizing these differences in equipment and adapting to meet the needs of all construction workers, female representation can continue to grow in the construction industry.  

At Shiel Sexton, we want to promote inclusivity and ensure all of our construction workers are given the proper PPE to perform their jobs safely.