Personal Protective Equipment for Women in High Demand

According to a 2022 PPE Pain Points study, 35 percent of PPE buyers say they find it difficult to locate and purchase items that fit their female employees.

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A recent poll by the J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights shows that despite growing numbers of women in jobs requiring personal protective equipment (PPE), they still have trouble finding PPE that fits well.

Of the 100 women polled whose jobs require PPE, 84 percent say they struggle to find properly fitting PPE. Of those respondents, 75 percent say ill-fitting PPE impacts their feeling of safety on the job.

Catering to the Needs of Female Construction Professionals

The findings echo what the J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights found in its 2022 PPE Pain Points study in which 35 percent of PPE buyers say they find it difficult to locate and purchase items that fit their female employees.

One PPE study respondent indicated there is a lack of glove sizes that fit women’s hands.

 “Some of the safety issues of ill-fitting PPE include loose-fitting apparel getting caught in machinery and decreased grip from larger-than-needed gloves, which can lead to accidents,” noted Robin Marth, J. J. Keller subject matter expert and Environmental Health and Safety editor.

"Too often, women have been stuck with the 'shrink it and pink it' mentality of PPE manufacturers – if there was anything offered at all," says Bowen Engineering Safety Administrator Autumn Strickler. "Correctly-fitted PPE is so important for safety reasons and for making your employees feel valued."

The study cites an OSHA statement that “PPE used by women should be based on female body measurement data. Whenever employers are required to purchase PPE, OSHA advises they buy these items in sizes suitable for women.”

Makenzie Plusnick, communications manager for the National Association of Women in Construction, notes that “One of the very visible ways that we are starting to see change within the construction industry is the emergence of different women-specific workwear companies.

“From steel-toed boots in women’s sizes to inclusive sizing in coveralls and flame-resistant denim, this particular part of the industry is evolving and making women a priority. That is why we continue to celebrate and amplify the careers of women in the industry all year, but especially during events like Women in Construction Week."

PPE for Women

In 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 & Associates, recently introduced the J. J. Keller SAFEGEAR PPE line in women's sizing.

The 10 items in the line were designed specifically with female proportions in mind and include a variety of hi-vis apparel and gloves. Many pieces in the 10-item line meet ANSI requirements for worksite environments necessitating extra safety measures, such as enabling women workers to do their job safely in low-light situations as well as workers exposed to traffic traveling more than 25 mph and who work against complex backgrounds.

Several apparel pieces also feature internal and external pockets to accommodate phones and pens with clear pockets for ID badges.

They include:

  • Women’s Fit Grip Gloves, ideal for situations where grip and dexterity are critical. Women’s Fit Insulated Gloves are ideal for situations where grip, dexterity, and warmth are important. Women’s Fit Work Gloves are designed specifically for protection when working with sharp objects. All gloves feature touchscreen capable index finger and thumb. They also all feature an elastic wrist with synthetic leather hook.
  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Type R Class 2 Reversible Puffer Safety Vest is quilted for extra warmth. It is featured in reversable hi-vis lime or black. The hi-vis lime side features two-inch wide vertical reflective tape stripes on the back that go over the shoulders and around the torso in front.

The following apparel is customizable for company logos:

  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Type R Class 2 T-Shirt with Pocket. The shirt is ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 Type R Class 2 compliant and comes in high-visibility lime or orange.
  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Non-Certified T-Shirt with Pocket is designed to help keep workers visible in low-light situations.
  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Type R Class 2 Safety Vest – Zipper Closure with Vertical Reflective Tape.
  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Type R Class 3 Zipper Sweatshirt.
  • Women’s Fit Hi-Vis Lime with Pink Trim Type R Class 2 Safety Vest, which is two-tone for greater visibility in low-light situations.
  • Women’s Fit 3-in-1 Removable Fleece-Lined Parka Jacket Type R Class 3.

Browse an extensive collection of PPE for women on IRONPROS workwear!

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