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The Chief Executive of Offshore Energies (UK), Deirdre Michie, has asked women to speak out about poorly fitting PPE (personal protective equipment) and workwear.

Women who wear badly fitting protective workwear are at risk. Rolled-up sleeves and the legs of clothing that are too big can become snagged in machinery and cause injury. In addition, trousers that are too long can cause slips and falls.

According to the Press and Journal, Michie says that women should challenge employers who give women workwear designed for men. She adds that providing workwear designed for women demonstrates that an organisation is committed to diversity and inclusion.

"The gender PPE gap is very real, and we need to address it. It is ok to call it out and say, actually this garment doesn't fit me properly, I need to have clothes that keep me protected."

A survey by the AXIS Network found that 62% of women said that their overalls do not fit well. The Right Fit campaign is tackling the issue by asking North Sea energy companies to provide more PPE designed for women. There is no supply problem, as several manufacturers of PPE have a wide availability in women's sizes.

Many manufacturers feature ladies' workwear and PPE prominently in their sales catalogues, yet there remains a shortage of ladies PPE at some offshore companies, with female workers having complained that some offshore companies have limited PPE stocks, with not enough for every female worker. Others provide male workwear but it smaller sizes.

Michie hopes that this will change.

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