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SPOA promotes workwear for women

28 May 2024

SPOA promotes workwear for women

The Women in Plant (WiP) group of the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) has teamed up with safety and high-visibility workwear supplier Leo Workwear to promote suitable PPE and clothing for women in the industry in Scotland.

The initiative follows challenges that group members had in finding such clothing that fit women well and was, therefore, safe to wear on worksites.

The clothing, developed by an all-female team, includes trousers, base layers and vests, and is designed to enable anyone to do their job safely regardless of gender, size or religion.

Items include workwear for pregnant women, as well as items made from lighter, breathable materials for those going through the menopause, while modesty tunics were developed with safety in mind for those from certain religions.

Matt Higham, National Account Manager at Leo Workwear, said: “Everyone should be able to do their job with the appropriate safety equipment and suitable clothing, and PPE is no different.

“In the past, it has simply not been profitable for providers to develop and manufacture PPE for women, who make up a smaller percentage of the workforce, but we think this is not right and women should be provided with appropriate clothing for the same price.”

The clothing is made using recycled materials, giving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions.

“In the past, women on worksites have been forced to roll up men’s clothing in an attempt to get them to fit, in turn risking entanglement in machinery or reducing the visibility of the clothing,” continued Matt Higham.

“Through focus groups, we have refined and improved our products. For example, items need to stretch and fit well to enable functional movement; various lengths are available as leg length can vary significantly amongst women even if they wear the same size; and pockets need to be as big as they are on men’s clothing as they are carrying the same tools.

“Additionally, regulatory standards must be met for items such as high-visibility clothing. These standards set a minimum area of high visibility fabric on view on the wearer – something that may be more difficult on smaller sizes, so we can mix items such as tops and trousers to ensure the wear is compliant.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Zaya McMillan-Grant from the SPOA’s Women in Plant group, said: “It is fantastic that the industry is evolving and recognising that for PPE and clothing it isn’t a case of ‘one size fits all’.”

The new range was previewed at the ScotPlant exhibition in Edinburgh last month and is available to order through Highland Industrial Supplies, with an exclusive WiP discount.

‚óŹ Check out the Site-Eco area of the blog for news of sustainable products and developments relevant to the world of hire. And use the Search Function to find earlier stories on specific people, products and companies


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