Add Specific Provision for Women to Regulations on PPE in the Workplace

We want the Government to amend the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 to require employers to take into account the specific needs of female employees in respect of PPE, and ensure that appropriate PPE is provided.

The regulations require employers to provide suitable PPE to employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety, and says that PPE must take account of ergonomic requirements and be capable of fitting the wearer correctly, but in practice women are often given PPE designed for men, that is not suitable for them.

Men and women do not have the same shape bodies and therefore smaller men’s items often do not fit women correctly. It is essential that correct-fitting PPE is available for the health and safety of female employees and should take into consideration special requirements for pregnancy, menstruation, menopause and modesty. Current regulations should be amended to make this a specific requirement for employers.