SISI Safety Wear Champions Women’s Safety in Mining at 15th Annual Women in Mining Conference & Expo 2024

Profile photo of Desiree Hlubi
Desiree Hlubi

SISI Safety Wear, a leading South African manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) designed specifically for women, showcased their range of safety gear at the recent 15th Annual Women in Mining Conference & Career Expo 2024 held in Johannesburg.

Addressing a Critical Gap in Safety

SISI’s focus on women’s safety in mining comes at a crucial time. With women now comprising 15% of the mining workforce, a staggering 85% lack properly fitted safety footwear, and only 4% wear suitable workwear.

“Women in the South African mining industry face unique challenges,” says Desiree Hlubi, Sisi Brand Manager at BBF Safety Group. “Ensuring their safety and offering them equal opportunities to men is paramount. This includes providing them with PPE that fits the female form effectively, offering optimal protection and comfort without compromise.”

SISI has addressed the lack of women-specific safety gear by developing a range of PPE designed for the female body. Featuring triple-stitching for durability and comfort, YKK zips for smooth operation, and VizLite reflective tape for enhanced visibility, the range offers three unique cuts: standard, extended, and maternity.

Tailored for the Female Form:

  • Safety jackets: Designed with narrower shoulders and a wider waist and bust for a secure and comfortable fit.
  • Trousers and boilersuits: Tailored to the female body shape, allowing for unrestricted movement and improved functionality, ultimately enhancing productivity.
  • Fall protection systems: Featuring adjustable harnesses, elasticated chest webbing, and straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit on the female frame, preventing secondary injuries caused by ill-fitting equipment.
  • Safety shoes and boots: Developed with narrower heels and a lower instep, providing proper support for female feet with a selection of sole shapes to suit individual preferences.

Beyond Convenience: A Safety Imperative

By championing women-specific safety wear, SISI Safety Wear is committed to empowering women in mining and ensuring they can work safely and confidently alongside their male colleagues.

“Simply put, unisex PPE doesn’t fit women properly,” emphasises Hlubi. “Designed for the male form, it’s not just a comfort issue; it’s a significant safety hazard. Ill-fitting PPE can restrict movement, hinder escape in emergencies, and increase the risk of injury. Providing women with unsuitable PPE is akin to not providing any PPE at all.”

Empowering Women in Mining

As more women enter the mining sector, the demand for gender-specific PPE becomes increasingly evident. SISI Safety Wear is at the forefront of this shift, paving the way for a safer and more inclusive mining industry.

“Prioritising female-focused safety solutions allows mining companies to make strides in enhancing workplace safety, equality, and productivity,” concludes Hlubi. “We urge procurement officers to take immediate action to ensure every worker has access to suitable, fit-for-purpose PPE.”