CSA Report: Canadian Women’s Experiences with Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace

CSA Report

January 13, 2023

This CSA report looks at the experiences of women using personal protective equipment in the workplace, finding gaps that need to be addressed in order to imporve safety for women. CSA explores how physical differences between men and women have been considered in the devolpment of PPE as well as PPE standards in Canada.

“This report synthesizes the findings of a review of the scientific and grey literature, an environmental scan of PPE regulations, key informant interviews, and a survey of nearly 3000 Canadian women who use PPE in their daily job functions,” explains the executive summary.

Ill fitting PPE is can cause injuries that would otherwise be avoided. Women often have to alter PPE so it fits properly which can cause unnecessary hazard, or they have to independantly source PPE specifically made for women out of their own pocket.

Here are the main findings of the CSA Report:

  • Research shows that anthropometric differences exist between the sexes and that women are not merely scaled-down versions of men. The significance of this is two-fold: (a) protective clothing and other PPE that are designed based on men’s proportions cannot be simply scaled down linearly to fit women; and (b) good quality anthropometric data representative of the contemporary working population are critical for the inclusive design of PPE.
  • Canadian regulations do not consistently require that selected PPE provide protection appropriate to the hazards and that it fit the user properly.
  • There is no consistency in the PPE standards and editions that are referenced in regulations across the country.
  • Functional fit and comfort are two of the most important parameters in the design and usage of PPE. Canadian women identified these factors – along with trust that their PPE will protect them and allow them to move around to do their job – as key to satisfaction with their PPE. However, a significant number of women reported experiencing one or more problems with their PPE.
  • The three most common problems the Canadian women surveyed have with their PPE are that
    • it does not fit properly (50%);
    • it is uncomfortable to wear (43%); and
    • the selection of women-specific PPE is inadequate (35%).

“To try and address these issues, women are paying out of pocket to source PPE with a better fit or that is specifically designed for women, and modifying or altering their PPE for safety, comfort, and improved fit,” CSA explains.

The Canadian women surveyed reported that:

  • they use PPE that is the wrong size at least some of the time (58%);
  • they don’t wear all the required PPE at work because of issues with fit (28%); and
  • they use a workaround to make their PPE fit (38%).

“Workarounds included using rubber bands, safety pins, and/or duct tape to shorten fall-arrest gear, secure work gloves, shorten sleeves, and prevent their pant legs from tripping them. Nearly 40% reported experiencing an injury or incident that they perceived to be related to their PPE.”

Go HERE to download the report

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Future-Proofing your Business with Electrical Estimating Software

    Future-Proofing your Business with Electrical Estimating Software

    In today’s construction landscape, it’s crucial for construction business owners to seize every opportunity to future-proof their operations. Building a thriving electrical (or mechanical) contracting company entails more than just acquiring technical skills and setting up a business. Read More…

  • Ontario Drives Monthly Downturn in Residential Sector for March 2024 Building Permits

    Ontario Drives Monthly Downturn in Residential Sector for March 2024 Building Permits

    May 16, 2024 Month over month, the total value of building permits in Canada decreased 11.7% to $10.5 billion in March. Construction intentions in the non-residential component declined 16.7% to $4.0 billion, while the residential sector decreased by 8.3% to $6.5 billion. Declines were observed in all components except for the commercial component. On a constant dollar basis (2017=100), the total… Read More…

  • 25th Edition of the MEET Show Smashes Attendance Records

    25th Edition of the MEET Show Smashes Attendance Records

    May 16, 2024 By Electro-Federation Canada The energy and excitement was palpable at the 2024 edition of the MEET Show at the Moncton Coliseum on May 1 and 2. The biennial Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic, and Technology show – celebrating its 25th year in 2024 – saw record-breaking attendance, welcoming 6,626 industry professionals to one of… Read More…

  • Video: How to Easily Setup and Program Intermatic PE700 Series Wireless Timers

    Video: How to Easily Setup and Program Intermatic PE700 Series Wireless Timers

    May 10, 2024 Dive into the future & discover the ultimate convenience in pool & spa management with this “How to” video guide for setting up & programming the PE700 Series Pool & Spa Wireless Smart Timer, by Intermatic. Whether you are programming the 3-circuit model PE733P or the 2-circuit PE723P, this video is your… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • ECS Re-Certified as Best Managed Platinum Status for 7th Straight Year

    ECS Re-Certified as Best Managed Platinum Status for 7th Straight Year

    May 22, 2024 Electrical Cable Supply (ECS), Canada’s leading, independently owned electrical wire and cable solutions provider, proudly announces its re-certification as a Platinum Club member in Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the seventh consecutive year. This prestigious designation, awarded by Deloitte, recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative management, business performance, and sustained growth…. Read More…

  • WOW Lighting and Controls adds Blink Charging to Line Card

    WOW Lighting and Controls adds Blink Charging to Line Card

    May 17, 2024 WOW Lighting and Controls are excited to introduce the newest addition to the Wow Lighting and Controls linecard: Blink Charging Co. Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK) is a global leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, enabling drivers, hosts, and fleets to easily transition to electric transportation through innovative charging solutions. Blink’s… Read More…

  • Join ECABC’s Call for Prompt Payment in BC

    Join ECABC’s Call for Prompt Payment in BC

    May 17, 2024 On Monday, May 6th, ECABC launched a campaign across its social media platforms to create awareness for the need for prompt payment laws in British Columbia, now. Year after year, BC’s lack of prompt payment has been the #1 issue for ECABC’s contractors. Why? Because prompt payment ensures that contractors and subcontractors receive… Read More…

  • ABB Invests in Ndustrial to Accelerate Decarbonization Through AI-Powered Energy Management Technologies

    ABB Invests in Ndustrial to Accelerate Decarbonization Through AI-Powered Energy Management Technologies

    May 17, 2024 ABB today announced a minority investment in Ndustrial, a US-based clean technology startup that has developed a leading-edge, AI-powered energy management platform. This innovative technology enables smarter, production-aware energy decisions in real time, helping customers reduce operating costs, optimize energy consumption and accelerate decarbonization. The investment was made through ABB Ventures. Financial… Read More…