Local manufacturer of women-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) Sisi Safety Wear – a brand of PPE that falls within safety equipment supplier and manufacturer BBF Safety Group’s stable – has launched the inaugural Core & Core+ ranges consisting of five fall arrest systems.
The Core range offers three standard harnesses with permanently attached, single- or double-leg shock-absorbing lanyards, with snap or scaffolding hooks. The Core+ range includes two belted harnesses with permanently attached, double-leg, shock-absorbing lanyards, with snap or scaffolding hooks and adjustable shoulder straps.
BBF Safety group marketing manager Peter Gerbrands tells Mining Weekly that what is especially unique about the Sisi fall arrest range is that it is designed with an adjustable and elasticated chest strap specifically designed for women’s bodies.
Sisi fall arrest specialist Ruaan Breedt further explains that, for women, the risk of injury does not stop when the fall does. If placed below the bust area, polyester webbing – typically found in men’s harnesses – can rise aggressively over the bust at the end of a fall, resulting in secondary injuries.
“By replacing the polyester webbing in the chest strap with an elasticated webbing that stretches in the event of a fall, the pressure on the bust area is substantially reduced,” explains Breedt.
Another benefit of the chest strap is its adjustable feature.
“Women who have larger busts have shared their dissatisfaction of wearing chest straps that are under the bust, further accentuating their breasts among a largely male workforce.”
The adjustable chest strap enables users to position it in the area that is most comfortable to them, increasing their confidence and focus on site, adds Breedt.
Despite more women entering the mining workforce, the provision of PPE, designed specifically for women mineworkers, has lagged significantly in facilitating women’s entry into mining, says Breedt.
“This can largely be attributed to a general lack of awareness in the industry around the effects that ill-fitting clothes can have on workers, as well as their productivity in the workplace.”
Employers should consider that ill-fitting safety footwear and workwear lead to several issues, including discomfort and pain and as such, lower productivity. It can even result in absenteeism due to health-related problems.
Uncomfortable clothing, in which employees spend about eight hours, could also lead to frustration, poor concentration and increased breaks, says Gerbrands.
Safety footwear manufacturer Bova – that is distributed and manufactured by BBF Safety Group – introduced a new safety footwear range last month that features innovative dual-compound rubber (DCR) soling technology.
This technology is ideal for extreme and hazardous environments. such as asphalt applications, surface mining, forestry, smelting and furnaces, heavy construction and engineering.
Previously, those working in these environments relied on footwear comprising either a single-density vulcanised rubber sole, nitrile rubber sole or a dual-density polyurethane/rubber sole, notes Gerbrands.
He adds that, although the inclusion of polyurethane in the midsole reduces weight and improves comfort, the durability of the products is compromised in extreme environments.
While single-density rubber soles provide the wearer with the necessary protection in these harsh conditions, discomfort arises owing to the shoes’ weight.
Gerbrands explains that Bova combined the benefits offered by the single-density vulcanised rubber sole, nitrile rubber sole and dual density polyurethane/rubber soling technologies while eliminating the shortcomings.
This was achieved through using the DCR soling technology, which uses two different layers of rubber where the soles are directly injected onto the uppers for a superior bond, increasing the longevity of the product.
Additionally, benefits of the DCR soling technology include 300 ºC direct and radiant heat resistance, resistance to acids, oils and chemicals, and superior slip resistance, adds Gerbrands.
Electra Mining Botswana
BBF Safety Group will exhibit the latest Sisi Safety Wear fall arrest range and the Bova dual compound rubber safety footwear at this year’s Electra Mining Botswana expo, which will be held from September 10 to 12 at the Gaborone fairgrounds.
The company is a gold sponsor of the event, and offers a full portfolio of head-to-toe PPE and workplace safety advisory services that range from auditing to consulting and training.
Gerbrands adds that the expo will be “a great opportunity” to not only increase BBF Safety Group’s sales and exports to Botswana but also provide attendees with a complete overview of its service offering.
Further, he notes that, owing to the role that mining plays in Botswana’s economy, it is important that a platform – such as Electra Mining – is created for suppliers to interact with the end-users and important decision-makers in the respective industries.
It also serves as an “opportunity for companies to meet potential clients and build on existing relationships in the Botswana mining market”, Gerbrands concludes.