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Thursday, 21 November

Getting Personal with Women's PPE

TfL has launched its first range of safety clothing designed specifically for women as part of its commitment to supporting an increasingly diverse workforce.

The new range, created for TfL staff following a successful six-week trial – that ran from end-July to mid-September 2015 with 22 participants – and will include a wider range of high-visibility jackets, trousers, gloves and adjustable eye protection.

Safety boots designed exclusively for TfL's female staff are also in development and set to be introduced in the New Year and a tailoring service will ensure female staff will have access to better-fitted, safer Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

universally sized PPE which is typical across the engineering and construction industries, presents sizing difficulties for female staff. Feedback from the trial indicated that many women have for years resorted to safety pins or rolled up trousers to get a decent fit in clothes that can restrict their movement. Poorly-fitted PPE can also pose a trip hazard.

The women's specific safety clothing which has been selected after carefully reviewing feedback from staff, should be more comfortable and has been designed to remove unnecessary distractions from the job at hand.

“Finding PPE that fits has always been a challenge for women in engineering, whether it's rolling up sleeves, holding up trousers or having to wear multiple pairs of socks just to keep our shoes on,” explained Melanie Ogden, Project Manager, Northern Line Extension Tunnels and Shafts. “A 'one size fits all' approach for men and women hasn't worked which is why it's great to see TfL taking a lead in this area.”

 

Part of centennial

The introduction of women's PPE forms part of TfL’s 100 Years of Women in Transport campaign which celebrates the role of women in the industry. 2015 marks 100 years since women took on operational roles in the First World War and became involved in building landmarks, e.g. Waterloo Bridge, dubbed the ‘Ladies’ Bridge’ which opened in December 1945.

TfL is working with Crossrail, the DfT, Network Rail, the Women's Transportation Seminar and Women's Engineering Society and others to celebrate the contribution that women have and continue to make to the transport industry.

Picture: TfL has introduced PPE clothing specifically for women members of staff after direct consultations

Article written by Mike Gannon

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