Multiplex has helped develop and evolve designs for the first dual-tone women's waistcoat and will be rolling out Leo Workwear's full women's PPE range

Multiplex has improved its range of women's personal protective equipment (PPE) across its UK sites. Following implementation at its London site The Broadway, for developer Northacre, Multiplex has committed to rolling out the new equipment across the UK.

Working in collaboration with high visibility specialists Leo Workwear and distributors OnSite Support, Multiplex has helped develop and evolve designs for the first dual-tone women's waistcoat, and will be rolling out Leo Workwear's full women's PPE range, which includes maternity and modesty items, to further its commitment to providing visible, comfortable and safe PPE for all female workers. The availability of a dual-tone waistcoat option for women will open the door for more women to take up supervisory roles on site, as the dual-tone option denotes a supervisory role and was not previously available in a women's version.

In April 2019 the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment (APPG) announced an inquiry into how the recruitment and retention of more women into construction might help to address the industry's skills shortage. It is well documented that there remains a number of barriers to attracting and retaining women in the industry, including gender bias, inflexible working practices, social perceptions and inadequate resources on site – including PPE.

Lack of appropriate PPE is a real barrier to encouraging more women into the construction sector. Historically women working within the construction industry have had no choice but to wear ill-fitting or oversized men's clothing, which as well as being uncomfortable, results in loose fabric that can pose a safety hazard.

The Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) annual report this year forecasted construction in the UK will create over 168,000 jobs between 2019 and 2023. Demand to fill these roles, while large numbers of workers are retiring and there is uncertainty over Brexit, means it is more important than ever to increase diversity to help address the skills shortage.

Ashleigh Lang Senior Office Manager at Multiplex, said:

"We are committed to encouraging more women into our workforce and respecting our female colleagues on site by ensuring they have PPE that is safe, fit for purpose and has the same professional look as the men's equivalent. The introduction of this extended range of clothing is part of an ongoing campaign at Multiplex to address issues of diversity within the industry."

Luke Alcock Head of Sales at Leo Workwear, said:

"We're delighted to work with On Site Support and Multiplex in providing a comprehensive range of conforming high visibility garments designed specifically for women in industry."

Anthony Ralph, Technical Manager at OnSite Support, said:

"OnSite Support are proud to be supporting another innovation in the PPE Segment which not only outlines the leaps forward in equality which the construction industry is seeing on the whole, but also highlights our commitment to innovation. We are all confident that this newly developed range will improve industry diversity and the lives of all involved."