As the construction industry works to diversify its workforce, a safety concern that arises is that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fits appropriately. In the past, PPE has been designed for men. Women entering the field often find that PPE does not fit well, or in a way that ensures their safety.

Safety footwear, for example, needs to fit properly to not only protect the foot, but to also avoid blistering or forcing the wearer into bad posture. Robin Skillings, writing for Construction Business Owner, notes that of “footwear-related injuries, only 23% of workers involved were wearing appropriate safety footwear.”

With more women entering construction, construction safety equipment manufacturers need to think about how safety equipment design also needs to diversify. This is not exclusively a gender issue—men also have differing body types and require properly fitting PPE—but women are helping to bring attention to this issue.

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