SISI Safety Wear, a leading South African manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) designed for women, proudly presented their range of safety wear at the 15th annual Women in Mining Conference & Career Expo 2024 that took place in Johannesburg recently.

Addressing a critical gap in safety

SISI’s commitment to women’s safety in the mining industry comes at a critical time, with women now making up 15% of the workforce. However, a staggering 85% of these women are not wearing safety shoes designed for their feet, and only 4% are fitted with the appropriate workwear.

“Women in the South African mining industry face unique challenges,” says Desiree Hlubi, Sisi Brand Manager at BBF Safety Group. “Ensuring their safety and affording them the same opportunities as men is essential. This includes providing them with PPE that properly fits the female form, offering optimal protection and comfort without compromise.”

SISI has stepped up to address the lack of women-specific safety gear with their range of PPE designed for the female form. Featuring triple-stitching for lasting wear and comfort, YKK zippers for smooth operation, and VizLite reflective tape for enhanced visibility, the range includes three unique cuts – standard, extended and maternity.

  • Safety jackets: Designed for a narrower shoulder with a wider waist and bust, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.
  • Trousers and boilersuits: Tailored to the female body shape, allowing for unrestricted movement and improved functionality, greatly enhancing productivity.
  • Fall Protection systems: Featuring adjustable harnesses, elasticated chest webbing and straps for a secure and comfortable fit on the female frame in order to prevent secondary injuries resulting from ill-fitting gear.
  • Safety shoes and boots: Developed with narrower heels and a lower instep, providing proper support for female feet with a selection of soles shapes for individual preference.

Beyond convenience, a safety imperative

By championing women-specific safety wear, SISI Safety Wear is committed to empowering women in the mining industry and ensuring they can work safely and confidently alongside their male counterparts.

“Simply put, unisex PPE does not fit women correctly,” emphasises Hlubi. “This is because it is designed to fit the male form, but this isn’t just a comfort issue; it’s a significant safety hazard. Ill-fitting PPE can restrict movement, hinder escape in emergencies, and increase the risk of injury. Providing women with unsuitable PPE can be likened to not providing any PPE at all.”

Empowering women in mining

As more women enter the mining sector, the demand for gender-specific PPE becomes increasingly evident. SISI Safety Wear is at the forefront of this paradigm shift, paving the way for a safer and more inclusive mining industry.

“In prioritising female-focused safety solutions, companies in the mining industry can continue to make strides in enhancing workplace safety and equality, as well as improving productivity. We urge procurement officers to take immediate action to ensure every worker has access to suitable, fit-for-purpose PPE,” concludes Hlubi.

By Admin