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Importance of PPE for women in health and safety

Nowadays, more women working in unconventional jobs, such as construction, have experienced incorrectly fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal protective clothing (PPC), which may jeopardize their safety.

Female anthropometric (body measurement) data should be utilized to design personal protection equipment for female employees. Women should make it a point to examine employer-provided PPE. If it is unpleasant or unsuitable for the worker (e.g., improperly fitting or ruined from wear or flaw), they should notify their employer and request a suitable replacement.

Inclusiveness means providing female workers with proper-fitting PPE, such as high-visibility apparel. For many years, women in the trades have had few options for workwear. They frequently wore the same clothing as their male counterparts. This worked in some cases. However, these enormous protective clothing did not fit correctly in general but was making them stand out from their male counterparts. This frequently resulted in women feeling excluded from the team. Baggy clothing can pose catch hazards on construction equipment, resulting in trips and falls, which are a primary cause of workplace accidents. Tight-fitting clothing causes discomfort and incorrect wear, such as wearing a dress exposed, tucked, or not.

PPE must fit properly to protect the employee from specific hazards. Women's PPE availability has improved dramatically in recent years. According to the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), many workplaces now provide a full range of PPE sizes. ISEA includes manufacturers who provide women in construction with safety equipment in various sizes. Also, according to the International Safety Equipment Association, PPE fit should be conveyed so that workers understand their size. Companies must make every effort to purchase the measures required, regardless of the number.

Garments customized for ladies have become more widespread in recent years. These garments resemble men's clothing but are developed with unique elements that consider the feminine body and shape. Among the design elements are:

Shoulders are narrower.

The waist is somewhat tapered.

Hips with a larger sweep or side slits

Higher zippers/closures provide higher coverage and security.

New gender-responsive standards should be developed, and goods should be adapted to accommodate female health workers. 8 Stronger global governance is essential to guarantee that the advantages of any design innovation reach the most vulnerable women, such as unvaccinated community health workers. Manufacturing innovation is also necessary to catalyze significant local manufacture of PPE.

Governments must fulfill their promises to protect health workers, especially those included in World Health Assembly Resolutions, by assuring an adequate supply of PPE and implementing occupational health regulations. Employers must fulfill their duty of care to health workers and consult with female health workers to ensure that PPE purchase is needs-based.

PPE manufacturers must innovate and address the gender imbalance in PPE, ensuring that women health professionals are included in the design stage to create more gender-responsive PPE. Gender equity in leadership in the health industry will allow women to influence health worker protection, including developing gender-responsive PPE.

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