Women in trades have few options for safety clothing and PPE that fits properly, says a local tradeswoman who is looking to change this.
“Like most women who work in the trades, I am very frustrated with spending my hard earned money on expensive gear that doesn’t fit us correctly,” says Catherine Brady of CB Forestry. “Whether it’s forestry, construction, mining, oil and gas or rope access work – we are all wearing men’s clothing and safety equipment.”
Catherine says that despite the growing trend of women entering the trades, there is a giant gap in the market for women’s work and safety gear.
“This is clothing we are required by our employers and WorkSafeBC to wear – like caulk boots and hi-visibility clothing,” Catherine says. “Safety equipment that does not fit a worker is a safety concern. This issue needs to be addressed further.”
Catherine says women in trades are not concerned with looking good in their field gear.
“In fact, it’s quite the opposite. What we do want are clothes that fit us – work and safety gear designed for us – so that we can carry out our jobs efficiently and return home safely,” she says. “The faster we have work and safety gear designed for us, the safer we’ll feel on the job and the more valued we’ll feel within our chosen trade.”
Catherine’s campaign is featured in this Vancouver Province article “BC forester laments lack of proper-fitting women’s safety and industrial wear” and also on Global News (see below).
If you can’t see the above video, click here to watch it on the Global News website.