Safety Equipment – What Does Your Employer Provide?
In certain jobs and on worksites, a business casual dress code is inappropriate and insufficient. There are jobs that require specific clothing, covering and padding, which is all designed to protect the person performing the task at hand. An employer is responsible for ensuring the safety of his or her employees, and in these cases, that includes providing the proper equipment and protective clothing for employees of either gender.
Providing Protection for Men and Women
Over the last several years, we have seen women around the country joining industries that have been traditionally staffed by men, and the safety requirements upheld by these companies may not have been updated to reflect such changes and may not adequately provide protection and safety for women on the job. Men’s safety gear is specifically tailored to their bodies and protection needs and women joining the workforce may find themselves having to wear inappropriate or unsafe uniforms because properly-designated clothing is not available.
One industry where this is a particular problem is construction. Men and women who work construction jobs need to be equipped with properly-fitting outfits and safety gear to prevent injuries and protect them when they are on the job. Personal protective clothing (PPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be issued in proper sizes so that the employees are fully protected. If the PPC and PPE available is only tailored to men’s measurements, a woman working for the construction company may have an increased chance of injury because the clothing does not fit properly.
The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) reports that PPC and PPE are available for both genders in a variety of sizes, so every company should be able to provide their employees with equipment that fits properly and meets safety standards. If a woman does not receive properly-fitting gear, she has the right to ask her employer to provide it. In these cases, employers are advised to keep a list of suppliers with PPC and PPE supplies for women readily available.
Rights of an Injured Employee
If a company fails to provide properly-fitting equipment and clothing to any employees, male or female, they could be liable for any injuries sustained by that ill-equipped employee. This is a serious concern for traditionally male-staffed fields where women are beginning to join the workforce. These companies may not be prepared to provide equipment designed for women and maybe putting their employees in danger while they wait to order and receive the right clothing.
Anyone who works in a field where special protective clothing and equipment is required and provided by the employer should be aware that they have the right to request proper sizes. They are also entitled to workers’ compensation, should the lack of proper equipment lead to an on-the-job injury. Furthermore, this compensation may cover a wide variety of costs — medical bills and expenses, coverage for an extended time (if necessary), as well as damages and restitution for pain and suffering.
At Levine Law, a Denver workers’ compensation law firm, our attorneys represent individuals who have been injured as a result of their employer’s negligence. To discuss your case, contact us today!