Building company, Tarmac has launched a range of maternity personal protective equipment (PPE), to keep pregnant women safer on site.

This innovative idea sprouts from a report by the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) which surveyed women within the industry, finding that half of the female workers had been forced to cut back on their normal duties or even change roles while suitable PPE was unavailable

Martin Riley, Tarmac’s senior vice president, said: “We’re proud to be leading the way in introducing high visibility maternity PPE for expectant mothers. This pioneering initiative supports our aim of creating a more inclusive workforce and to work in an environment where all of our employees can be safe and remain healthy.”

Expectant mother Louise Pattison, working for Tarmac’s cement and lime business in Barnstone, Nottingham, said: “It used to be the case that expectant mothers needing PPE for their work had to wear oversized male protective clothing and make their own alterations.

“I’m delighted to be one of the first at Tarmac to have the opportunity to wear PPE that is specially made for pregnant women.”

To highlight the global issues that women face within the industry, Michelle Hands, documents her experience as an American female construction worker as she embraced pregnancy while on-site.

“I always feared that I would be “let go” if a company wasn’t sure how to handle Health and Safety (in relation to my pregnancy) or if I would become ineffective as a worker, unable to do certain jobs.”

“I hope that through sharing my pregnancy journey, more women will realise that you can become a mum and continue to work in construction and more importantly, to show companies that we don’t become ‘useless’ or ‘fragile’ nor does it warrant us leaving the industry. We can well and truly build two things at once.”

Conforming to the international health and safety standard EN ISO 20472, this PPE for pregnant women will be manufactured by Leo Workwear, the UK’s prime provider of specialist maternity protective clothing.