Importance of Fitted Women's PPE

Member News

'Over the past 12 months Hayley Rail has been working closely with major rail operators to find out what women's PPE is available in today's market, and to raise awareness to manufacturers about the importance of ladies PPE within the marketplace.' Mark Hammond, Manager at Hayley Group PLC, explains. 'Our research revealed that this task is a lot more complex than we first thought. When it comes to ladies PPE, 'unisex' seems to be the buzzword.'

Some items can fit into a unisex category; for example, over trousers usually include garments that are easily fitted, as they are intended to be baggy and oversized, so it is generally easy to find the correct fit. It is common sense that tells us if the PPE doesn't fit, then it probably isn't performing or giving the correct level of protection to the standard specified.

Hand and head protection

If gloves don't fit correctly, they can make you clumsy, which can affect how efficiently you perform. Likewise, if you are wearing a helmet that is too big, this could compromise your balance and increase the risk of trips and slips through having to use one hand to hold your helmet on.

Working at heights

Fall arrest equipment shouldn't fall into a unisex category. The difference between men's and women's chest, hips and thighs could affect the angle that the straps fit into a harness.


We often hear that women are routinely wearing two pairs of socks in order to fit into the shoes they have been given. Men and women have different shoe lasts because of the different widths, depths and insteps. The word 'universal' often gets batted around, but half sizes and women's lasts are now available from us.

Universal PPE and one-size-fits-all is no longer acceptable. At Hayley, we have ladies specific PPE available, including foul weather jacket, hi-vis trousers, smaller fitting eyewear and boots, all of which have been a great success in trials.

We continually challenge our PPE supply base, which consists of all the world leading manufacturers and recognised brands. We constantly reaffirm the message that there is a gap in the market for women's PPE. Over the next 12 months, Hayley's Rail division will be working with key manufacturers and suppliers to bring a women's PPE range to our key customers, recognising the importance for the user to have the correct PPE available to ensure the right level of protection, as well as comfort, quality and wearability.

*If you are interested in this topic, for more information and enquiries, please call Hayley Rail on 0121 585 5841 or email [email protected]