Closing the gender gap with women-specific safety wear

The Beier Group has long been an advocate of gender equality. Our aim is to increase opportunities for women in typically male-dominated industries and truly close the gender gap. In 2008, Beier Safety Footwear were first to market with the Sisi brand, which delivers a holistic approach to safety wear for women. This legacy continues with the BBF Safety Group (BBF), a Beier Group member company, which is an integrated workplace safety solutions provider that supplies the market-leading Sisi brand designed to address the physiological requirements of safety wear for a female workforce.

BBF’s Sisi Safety Wear ranges are about functionality and fit. They have been designed through extensive research and consultation with women in industry and are specifically tailored to the female anatomy to ensure women’s dignity, comfort, health and wellbeing in the workplace. In fact, without Sisi’s contribution to safety wear for women in mining, compliance with health and safety regulations would be difficult to meet, which has major implications for employment opportunities for women in this industry.

Impacting health and safety

At BBF, we believe that PPE for women should enable them to focus on their work rather than hamper their comfort. For example, women’s feet are shaped differently and their safety footwear should reflect this. Ill-fitting footwear poses risks to women’s safety and has long-term negative health implications, including knee and hip strain. Our Sisi footwear range therefore reflects the functional and ergonomic requirements of women working in different environments across industries, with solutions that are suited to the contours of a woman’s foot. BBF is not only committed to the provision of general PPE but also niche technical products to enable women to work in comfort and safety. Sisi’s range of harnesses, with their unique, adjustable and elasticated chest straps, are specifically designed for women who work at heights to protect the bust area and reduce secondary injuries to the wearer.

Impacting productivity and dignity

Discomfort can have a profound effect on productivity, diverting attention from work, which means that ill-fitting PPE could seriously impact a wearer’s quality of work. Poorly designed workwear also prevents easy use of ablution facilities, which impacts women’s dignity. Sisi’s ground-breaking boiler suit for women miners is specifically designed to address this. Together with the safety aspects and personal wellbeing of wearers, there are further economic implications of providing ill-fitting safety wear to women, such as increased sick leave, medical claims and workmen’s compensation. All of these negatively affect the bottom line.

Beier is committed to delivering safety, dignity, comfort and increased productivity to the growing female workforce. It is a commitment we continue to strengthen through ongoing investment into the Sisi brand. With locally produced, women-specific safety wear so readily available, Beier has made it easy for industries to start making the right choices for their female workforce.