Singapore-based ship manager Synergy Group is launching new bespoke Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its growing number of female seafarers.
Synergy, which manages a fleet of over 540 vessels and employs over 20,000 seafarers, commissioned Hercules Safety to manufacture the new equipment.
The PPE was developed by textile engineers in collaboration with women sailors and maritime safety experts to ensure the final cut and maximum comfort and versatility for crew deployed in a maritime work environment where the highest standards of protection are required.
The material is 100% soft and durable cotton with reinforced stitching in high wear areas to ensure both safety and comfort over extended periods. The PPE is also highly visible with 3M reflective strips designed for maximum visibility in all marine work environments.
The new Hercules Safety PPE is currently being distributed to all female crews, port rotations permitting. The rollout includes over 60 Synergy-managed vessels worldwide currently serving female seafarers.
“These new overalls have a great fit and are super functional: breathable, weatherproof, lightweight and comfortable. The fabric is suitable and protective for the bridge and for the engine room, where things get hot. It is also resilient, just like our seafarers; a quality we love to celebrate as International Women’s Day approaches. This new PPE enhances safety, which is always Synergy’s priority.” captain Radhika MenonWinner of the 2016 IMO Award for Outstanding Courage at Sea and mentor to Synergy’s young women seafarers.
Chief Officer Reshma Murkar said the commission of the new PSA sent a positive gender equality message to the maritime community.
Third Officer Noopur Mohire said many seafarers’ products are designed for men only, making them unsuitable for women.
“I’m glad that women seafarers were consulted during the Hercules Safety design process. I have plenty of pockets to carry my tools, but not too many to pose a hazard. I can move easily and have protection when I’m on deck doing chores.” She said.
Synergy said its commitment to encouraging women to become seafarers now includes its own chakra scholarship, which allows 14- to 15-year-old students to begin training for entry into the maritime industry.
“As part of our diversity, equality and inclusivity programs, we have increased the number of women in the Synergy ranks at sea and ashore for many years. We want them to feel at home and safe in their workplace. Ensuring they have comfortable PPE that meets the highest safety and functional standards is of course a fundamental but crucial part of this process.” Captain HS SwaminathanSynergy Group COO Crew Management, commented.