Even though the number of female seafarers is increasing every day, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for them onboard remains an area of concern. Very often female seafarers have to use small (S) size PPE made for men which does not fit them well. Wearing over-sized PPE is not safe e.g. goggles designed for the male face, which is typically larger and broader than a woman’s, would not fit a female face properly. This has a greater potential for foreign bodies to enter the eye and cause injury. Fireman’s outfit and LSA equipment are other areas of concern.
PPE of proper size and fit is vital in reducing the risk of injuries to seafarers. PPE with improper fitting can itself be a safety hazard e.g. a very large boiler suit can cause accidents, ill-fitting safety shoes can cause blisters and cuts. When PPE is not comfortable or practical to wear, seafarers are less likely to use it.
Female-specific PPE which is BS, EN, and ISO compliant, as applicable, is available now on the market.