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Women Struggle to Find Well-Fitting Personal Protective Equipment

J. Keller Poll Reveals Poor Fit Also Impacts Feeling of Safety

During Women in Construction week (March 5-11, 2023), a recent poll by the J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights has been released showing, despite growing numbers of women in jobs that require personal protective equipment (PPE), women still have trouble finding PPE that fits them well.

Of the 100 women polled, all of whom have jobs requiring PPE, 84 percent said they struggle to find properly fitting PPE. And of those women, 75 percent said ill-fitting PPE impacts their feeling of safety on the job.

These 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 found it difficult to locate and purchase items that fit their female employees.

“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,” said Robin Marth, subject-matter expert and EHS editor, J.J. Keller.

“Too often, women have been stuck with the ‘shrink it and pink it’ mentality of PPE manufacturers — if there was anything offered at all,” said Autumn Strickler, engineering safety administrator, Bowen. “Correctly fitted PPE is so important for safety reasons and for making your employees feel valued.”

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, Inc. recently introduced it J. J. Keller™ SAFEGEAR™ PPE line in women’s sizing. Items in this line were designed specifically with female proportions in mind, and include a variety of hi-vis apparel and gloves.

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