PPE is paramount to seafarers’ safety. Appropriate equipment must be made available to all employees to prevent accidents. As shipping strives to be more inclusive, women’s PPE needs to be tailored to their physique and circumstances. The Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Program’s 2019 CHIRP survey showed that women seafarers wear ill-fitting, inadequate and uncomfortable gear.
Synergy Group, one of the world’s leading ship managers with a diverse fleet of over 540 vessels, is making new tailored personal protective equipment (PPE) available to its growing number of women seafarers. Synergy, which employs over 20,000 seafarers, commissioned Hercules Safety to manufacture the new equipment to the highest specifications.
The PPE was developed by textile engineers in collaboration with women sailors and maritime safety experts to ensure the final cut and maximum comfort and versatility for crew deployed in a maritime work environment where the highest standards of protection are required.
The material is 100% soft and durable cotton with reinforced stitching in high wear areas to ensure both safety and comfort over extended periods. The PPE is also highly visible with 3M reflective strips designed for maximum visibility in all marine work environments.
The new Hercules Safety PPE is currently being distributed to all female crews, port rotations permitting. The rollout includes over 60 Synergy-managed vessels worldwide currently serving female seafarers.
Reshma Murkar, Chief Officer, said the commission of the new PSA sent a positive gender equality message to the maritime community. She explained that they need the best fit to be fully functional and now they have it.
The third officer, Noopur Mohire, commented that many seafarers’ products were designed for men only, making them unsuitable for women. He claimed that the new PPE is very comfortable to wear as female seafarers were consulted during the Hercules Safety design process.
Synergy’s progressive diversity, inclusivity and equality policies have enabled Synergy’s women workforce and the company itself to thrive and thrive. Synergy’s commitment to encouraging women to become seafarers now includes its own Chakra Scholarship, which enables 14-15 year old students to begin training for entry into the maritime industry.
Synergy’s CSR team is also active in major maritime outreach events in India, including Chennai-based SEVALAYA and a Mumbai-based municipal school run by Muktangan among its NGO partners.
As Captain HS Swaminathan, Synergy Group COO Crew Management commented, they want women to be at home and safe at their workplaces. Therefore, they made sure they have comfortable PPE that meets the highest safety and functional standards.
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