Why are we getting involved?
More women are now working in the mining industry but a lot of the framework hasn’t followed suit: be it separate changing rooms for women, crèche/nursery/childcare to support female employees coming back to work or work clothing amongst other things. Clothing, foot wear and safety equipment that makes you feel good and feminine is scarce.
Fitting PPE is important for a number of reasons:
- Increased safety: if the clothes fit properly and aren’t loose there is less risk of hazards and accidents
- Increased performance: if the clothes fit properly you can get about and perform your duties more easily
- Increased self-confidence and well-being: Not having to wear baggy and ill-fitting clothes makes you feel good in your skin and gives you the feeling that your employer values you
PPE specifically designed for females does now exist and we hope to see the whole industry kitting out their female employees with appropriate work gear.
What we’ve seen in our industry for far too long, is women simply supplied with small men’s sizes which are not designed to fit the contours or proportions of the female body.
We welcome everyone to participate in this debate and to send in their stories
We promote manufacturers of female PPE and have listed them here
Safety goggles – Beware of goggles that state “one size fits all” – some may be too large for a woman’s face and could allow objects, fluids or other hazardous materials to enter through gaps in the seals.
Safety shoes/boots – men’s sizes are not the correct fit for women as the shape of women’s feet are much smaller and narrower causing various podiatry issues as well as strain on the chin/calf’s.
Protective clothing – Taking a man’s garment and modifying it to fit a woman, such as rolling up sleeves or pants legs, can be dangerous because the excess material can become caught in machinery. Clothing that is bulky can cause chaffing, irritation against the skin & an uncomfortable feeling causing women to be irritable/moody leading to loss of concentration at the workplace, distractions and other associated risks.
Safety gloves – Ensure all exposed skin is covered, the gloves allow for a safe grip so tools will not easily slip out of the hands; and the finger length, width and palm circumference of the gloves match those of the hands.
Postmasburg Northern Cape, 6 Randjiestraat
Witbank, Ryno Ridge
Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban North
P.O Box 942, Postmasburg, 8420
P.O. Box 401259, Redhill, 4071
083 255 5138
073 410 8580 / 053 313 0635
083 776 6124