HBF encourages increased provision of women's PPE this World Day for Safety and Health at Work

26 Apr, 2024

HBF encourages increased provision of women's PPE this World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is encouraging home builders to increase the provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for women, ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April).

Statistics from the National Association of Women in Construction for Yorkshire (NAWIC) show that 59% of women have to wear PPE designed for men during their work on-site, which often fits incorrectly, is uncomfortable and can in some cases be a safety hazard.

More than 40% of women report that ill-fitting PPE has negatively impacted their career, highlighting the need for change. While many home builders already offer PPE specifically designed for women, limited availability and lack of awareness mean that many employees are having to make do with PPE that doesn’t fit as it should.

With the industry facing an acute skills shortage, ensuring all employees are properly considered and catered for is essential to house building’s ability to recruit and retain employees.

Rhodri Williams, Technical & Sustainability Director at HBF, said:Regardless of gender, size, or shape, having the correct PPE is crucial to supporting employees to perform at their best and, most importantly, protecting their safety. It also impacts confidence and therefore plays a major role in day-to-day job satisfaction.

"Attracting and supporting more women into the industry remains an area of focus for home builders. Ensuring all employees’ needs are equally considered on-site will go some way to helping retain talent in the workforce.”

Abigail Bainbridge, Group Health, Safety & Environment Director at Persimmon Homes, discussed the need for change:Access to the right PPE is crucially important for someone to be able to do their work on site safely and comfortably. If the fit is not right, it has safety implications as it leaves the person wearing it susceptible to clothing getting caught on machinery and equipment. It can also affect the wearer’s self-confidence and self-worth.

“Having inclusive PPE available on sites is creating safer workplaces and helping us champion equality.”

For more information on women’s PPE, visit PPEThatFits.com or download The National Association of Women in Construction Yorkshire’s campaign resources.