Despite growing numbers of women in transportation, construction and manufacturing, finding personal protective equipment (PPE) that fits women well remains difficult.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, women comprised 11% of construction workers, 7.9% of truck drivers, and 29% of manufacturing employees, and their numbers in these fields continue to increase.
Because women can be shaped differently from head to toe with vastly different body measurements, unisex or men's PPE often does not fit them properly. This can lead to a variety of safety hazards, including:
• excess material getting caught in machinery;
• gaps in coverage, leading to reduced protection; and
• loss of dexterity, which can cause incidents.
Efficiency is also lost when PPE is ill-fitting as well, as workers struggle to complete tasks or complete them much more slowly.
"PPE is the last line of defense between workers and the hazards they face on the job," said Robin Marth, EHS editor at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. "Of the many considerations surrounding PPE, proper fit is one of the most important. In fact, OSHA states that PPE used by women should be based on female body measurement data."
Recognizing the need for additional PPE sizes that may be more suited to women and wanting to help companies promote safe and respectful workplaces, J. J. Keller™ SAFEGEAR™ PPE introduces its women's sizing line.
Among the new women's sizing items are:
- High-visibility safety vests and t-shirts in lime or orange
- High-visibility lime sweatshirts and jackets
- Grip, insulated and cut-resistant gloves
"Customers told us that finding proper-fitting PPE for women was a real challenge," said Joel Clark, portfolio director at J. J. Keller. "We decided to develop PPE in women's sizes so that all workers can feel comfortable and protected."
For more information, visit JJKeller.com/SAFEGEARWomen or call 800-327-6868. Products will be available for shipment in September 2022.