Poorly fitting equipment is a leading cause of injury in service members, according to a recent Department of Defense report.
The military has had difficulty supplying women with correctly fitted equipment, and construction companies face the same challenge. Ill-fitting gear can pose safety risks including snagging on ladders and exposing the body to hazards.
Companies that don’t address the issue also risk losing workers they try hard to attract and retain, and they could expose themselves to lawsuits for injuries or for failing to provide equal opportunity if a lack of equipment means a woman can’t do her job.
According to a review of more than 330 union contracts in the last five years by Bloomberg Law, provisions on personal protective equipment were included but none included language covering gender-specific gear. One expert says employers should put pressure on equipment vendors to supply appropriately fitted gear for women.