The PPE designed for men causing problems for women

The issue of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been news headlines throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for front line workers in the NHS and care homes.


What has not made as many headlines, is that those same front line workers, particularly females, are not getting correctly fitted PPE. It seems that for as long as PPE has been made, it has been designed for men and not for women.


Traditionally, any PPE was designed for men, because manual workers were mainly men. But now we live in a more equal society, and the PPE has not changed.


Most PPE is marketed as unisex. This pandemic has proved this is not the case. Women make up 77% of NHS workers, yet it seems that much of the PPE provided has come in two sizes. Even small nitrile or vinyl gloves are too big for many women.


According to BBC radio, NHS workers on the front line have been face fitted for the correct masks, however when a suitable mask has not been available, these women, highly trained, have been in some instances moved to other wards, or given incorrect fitted masks to wear. The masks are designed for men.


For several years, the police have issued a standard stab vest, again classed as unisex, but designed initially for men. The design does not take into account the shape of women, so the vest does not cover all the abdomen or neck area properly - the areas most prone to attack with lethal consequences.


Employers, and manufacturers and suppliers of PPE need to realise that one size, one shape does not fit all. If we want equality in the workplace, then we need equality in health and safety in the workplace. And we need comfortable, good fitting personal protective equipment for all too. In the modern workplace, women need protecting as much as men. It's time to treat them equal too with the protection they are given.


  • KSH Safety Services has an e-learning course about Personal Protective Equipment, when and how to wear it. Find out more here.

NEWS ARCHIVE

The Content on Our Site, KSHSafety.com, including this blog post, does not constitute advice on which you should rely.  It is provided for general information purposes only.  Professional or specialist advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to health and safety in the workplace. We make no representation, warranty, or guarantee that Our Site will meet your requirements, that it will not infringe the rights of third parties, that it will be compatible with all software and hardware, or that it will be secure. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that the Content on Our Site is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.  We do not, however, make any representations, warranties or guarantees (whether express or implied) that the Content is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. If you subscribe via this site, we store your email with our email marketing and website provider Wix. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data privacy regulation to protect all EU citizens’ data. It gives our customers, among other requirements, the right to receive or delete all their personal data. If you wish to do this please email us via the Contact us page and we will request this from Wix. This website is © KSH Safety Services

Logo hi quality red lettering.jpg

01744 32 50 32 

PO Box 751 Wigan WN1 9RF

Logo hi quality red lettering.jpg
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

© KSH Safety Services 2020

KSH Safety Services operates as a sole trader and is VAT Registered.