OTTAWA — The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada and other leading construction industry stakeholders are asking the governing Liberals to consider programs to reduce the cost of female-specific PPE.
A letter written as a pre-budget request was sent Nov. 10 on behalf of the MCAC, its Women in Mechanical Contracting Committee, Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Canadian Construction Association, the Canadian Association of Women in Construction, the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association and the Ontario General Contractors Association.
“For many women in the skilled trades, PPE remains a significant safety issue. A 2022 report from the CSA Group entitled Canadian Women’s Experiences with Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace found that 58 per cent of women use PPE that is the wrong size at least some of the time; 28 per cent don’t wear all the required PPE because of fit issues; and 38 per cent use a workaround to make their PPE fit,” stated the submission.
A program similar to the tradesperson’s tools expenses deduction that would target women in the skilled trades would help improve occupational health and safety while removing a barrier to entry for those seeking careers in the trades, stated the signatories.
“As organizations at the forefront of the construction industry who collectively represent more than 20,000 construction firms and more than 500,000 construction workers across the country, we believe this would be a positive step forward, and an additional way the federal government can encourage more women to enter the skilled trades,” the letter stated.