Rail Industry Focus

21.05.20

Meeting the challenge of PPE

Words provided by Jermyn Street Design editorially reviewed by Rail Technology Magazine

As train operators face the huge challenge of getting their operations up and running again, one of the main issues to address is protecting staff and passengers.  Employees and passengers alike need reassurance that everything is being done to keep them as safe as possible, and personal protective equipment (PPE) provides protection to wearers at work and reassurance to customers.

However, as has been much publicised, PPE has been in short supply, even for those on the front line fighting the pandemic.  So TOCs are facing an additional challenge at what is already a uniquely demanding time.

Jermyn Street Design (jSD), the company behind uniforms for Eurostar, GWR and Chiltern Railways, has been receiving lots of enquiries from TOCs as they carry out ongoing risk assessments during the evolving crisis.  As plans are being drawn up for more commuters to return to work, rail companies are bringing more and more staff out of furlough and require both standard and specialist PPE to keep everyone safe and reassured.

978 GWR

Image: GWR Uniform

PPE is rapidly becoming commonplace in our ‘new normal’, so not only are more companies seeking suppliers, they are looking at how to incorporate these items into everyday use while maintaining some form of brand identity.  Companies are also faced with the additional challenge of ensuring that they avoid buying fake or sub-standard items that do not meet safety requirements, as occurred recently with a plane load of PPE from Turkey.

Charlotte McHardy, Managing Director of jSD said: 

“It is clear that the wearing of PPE will become commonplace on our transport network and will remain so for many months.  So TOCs need to consider the longer-term effects in terms of functionality, cost and wearer comfort.  Traditionally, PPE is designed for bulk production and in a unisex manner; wearer wellbeing, right sizing and brand building were never key priorities.”

In the past, PPE has only ever been made in two sizes and primarily with a man’s body form in mind, which instantly creates a problem for 50% of the UK population.  A study by the TUC found that 57% of women said that their PPE hampered their work.  While PPE is mass produced and is often worn for long shifts, comfort is not a priority, and continuous use of PPE has also been found to cause skin problems in certain cases.  Employers also need to ensure that proper training is given to users of PPE; not only in how it should be used or worn, but also how it must be removed and disposed of safely.  

jSD has designed and manufactured corporate uniforms for four decades and has used this industry experience to assist the NHS in sourcing PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company is therefore in a unique position to work with UK businesses that now need to provide their staff with uniforms that also meet PPE safety standards. There is a range of certified standards and international variations for PPE and employers need to understand which is appropriate and fit for purpose in their own working environment.

The range of PPE that jSD can supply includes gowns, aprons, gloves, masks, face shields, protective eye wear and even accessories to relieve the pressure behind the ears from wearing masks for long periods.

Having designed uniforms that work for all employees, regardless of gender, size, shape, culture, jSD is only too aware of what makes a successful, practical, comfortable and safe range of corporate clothing.  The company is already working on branded overalls and bespoke face coverings for the transport industry to protect employees during the ongoing crisis.

Charlotte McHardy continued:

 “We are all having to adjust to this ‘new normal’, but the one thing we cannot do is compromise, either on safety or wellbeing. For PPE to be effective it must evolve to meet the needs of a much wider group of employees who now require it on a daily basis.  We are working closely with customers and suppliers to create new uniform items that not only offer vital protection but maintain the all-important corporate identity and have been designed with wearer wellbeing in mind.”

Contact Jermyn Street Design 

 

Main image: Eurostar Uniform

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

View all News

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio ... more >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >