A UK company has recognised the growing number of women working on building sites across the country, writes Fiona O’Brien
The rising number of women working in construction will no longer have to don baggy men’s clothing as one leading construction and engineering company are rolling out a female-specific line.
BAM Nuttall is bringing the range out across the whole country following trials on a number of its sites in London, Leeds, Newcastle and Scotland.
Working with manufacturer Arco, the UK’s premier supplier of safety equipment and workwear, BAM Nuttall has commissioned polo shirts, jackets, waistcoats and trousers all tailored for the female form, with the possibility of expanding it to safety helmets, gloves, goggles and boots in the future.
“We are known for successfully delivering high-profile, complex projects and for encouraging women to join the world of construction,” says Phil Cullen, Health & Safety Director of BAM Nuttall.
“As we look to increase diversity, not only in BAM Nuttall but across the whole sector, it makes sense to make sure that all employees on site have the best equipment possible, and that includes clothing.”
“Traditionally, what is worn on site has been designed for men. What the group of BAM Nuttall female workers tested was not about vanity but addressed comfort, practicalities and safety to ensure that we can do our jobs to the best of our abilities.
“The tailored trousers are easier to walk in than the oversized men’s versions they have traditionally worn.
“They don’t have to pull the trousers up high or turn up the legs to make them fit which then means that the pockets are in the wrong place or the reflective safety strips may be hidden.”
Tailoring high quality, construction clothing specifically for women ensures that jackets are not baggy and uncomfortable, pockets can be easily reached and all reflective material is correctly placed, improving both efficiency and safety.
“It has been great to work with BAM Nuttall around a range of clothing for their female site operatives,” says Michaela Cox, Key Account Manager – Construction and Rail at Arco Ltd.
“Our core purpose is to keep people safe at work, and we want women to feel comfortable and professional without the distractions of ill-fitting hazardwear, but most of all we want them to feel confident that their PPE is keeping them safe when there are potentially hazardous conditions.”
The line of clothing that was trialled also featured an alternative version of the company’s “Don’t Walk By” logo. Designed to encourage people to address anything that they think is wrong, damaged or dangerous on site, the new one has a silhouette of a female construction worker on it.
“The clothing trial and new logo shows how seriously BAM Nuttall takes its commitment to diversity and how it values its female work force,” says Phil Cullen.
“We need to attract more women and this can only help.” Elsewhere, the company is also utilising its fleet of highway vans as mobile advertising hoardings to encourage women to consider a career in the sector.
“The company’s vans currently feature, on their rear doors, a picture of BAM Nuttall trainee quantity surveyor Kat Woodall on one side and a small girl on the other playing with building bricks with the slogan ‘Building your future career’.