Evolving PPE: Going Beyond Fit for Enhanced Protection and Wellness —

Evolving PPE: Going Beyond Fit for Enhanced Protection and Wellness

Evolving PPE: Going Beyond Fit for Enhanced Protection and Wellness

Proper footwear can help avoid major accidents, especially with new innovations.

When it comes to protecting workers and creating a strong safety culture in the workplace, there’s no substitute for high-quality PPE, great partners and ongoing efforts to improve. After all, PPE, and safety footwear in particular, is very personal to workers and must be worn for long hours. Being aware of new technologies when selecting the right PPE will help keep workers comfortable and safe while on the job.

A focus on safety is especially important for those in work environments that include a wide variety of potential risk factors, such as in the oil and gas industry. Below are considerations for safety professionals to keep in mind when outfitting their workers with safety gear across industries and various risk levels.

PPE is Personal

When thinking about safety, it is essential to consider comfort and fit along with protection against common hazards like slips, trips, falls and puncture wounds. The wrong equipment can increase the rate of injury or cause injury itself, which can be detrimental to worker productivity and job satisfaction.

One key PPE component to consider is protective footwear, a personal purchase that needs to be tailored to a worker’s specific fit and needs. Improperly fitting footwear can make workers uncomfortable and cause fatigue, blisters, shin splits and other injuries. It’s crucial for employers to partner with a footwear company that will help workers find a work boot that is the right size and width to ensure all-day comfort and safety.

From a head-to-toe PPE perspective, it is also important to look at gender-specific design as both footwear and workwear should be tailored to women and men differently to ensure a comfortable fit. Industry-leading PPE manufacturers are closely examining the differences and introducing purpose-built options made using gender-specific lasts or specific patterns for women to ensure the best fit possible.

Having the right PPE selection that considers all employees fosters safety, comfort and inclusivity.

This article originally appeared in the June 1, 2021 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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