28: Inclusive Workwear Design with Jodi Huettner

July 17, 2023

Join The
Email List!

I'm here to guide, coach, debate, and help you take yourself to the next level in workplace health & safety.

Connect with me more directly and get weekly support in your inbox.

HI! I'm Aimee

In today’s episode of Transmit Safety, I’m talking with Jodi Huettner, a  mechanical engineer with first-hand experience of the challenges faced by women on worksites due to ill-fitting and inadequate workwear.

I have been waiting to talk to Jodi for a while. Every time I am at a conference or I’m looking for information about the discussion of inclusive workwear, she’s always at the forefront of that topic.

So, I wanted to talk to her about what she’s doing within her business, Helga Wear, but also how much she’s advocating for inclusive workwear in general.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Productivity challenges women face when wearing the wrong size workwear
  • Navigating the balance between price expectation and profit when creating PPE for women
  • 2 steps employers can take to promote the use of safe and inclusive workwear
  • The difference between what’s written into policy and what is actually happening on worksites with PPE
  • The importance of reporting when PPE doesn’t fit or leads to hazards at a worksite 

The Transmit Safety Podcast is here to help health and safety practitioners achieve a holistic approach to workplace health and safety so they can become impactful leaders and put the value of safety into action.

Resources and links

Today’s episode was sponsored by Transmit Safety, a consulting business where I help streamline and simplify health and safety management systems through education, program development, audits, and coaching.

If you’d like to join the next cycle of Upgrade and Optimize a group coaching program, go to: transmitsafety.com/program

Want to receive weekly content that will help you become the Health & Safety leader you want to be and stay up to date with me and Sir Reginald? Plug into the Transmit Safety Newsletter here.

Quotes from this episode

“There’s definitely women that can fit into men’s PPE, no problem. There’s definitely men that can fit into women’s PPE, no problem. But there are lots of women that won’t and it’s a matter of proportion. It’s not a matter of size. If it’s a garment that’s been built using male body data and menswear grading rules, it’s just not going to fit women.”

“Until quite recently, there wasn’t a business case for providing women with PPE. That means there weren’t enough women in the industry to justify the expense. To that, I can’t help but ask, where’s the magic number? Was it 12 women? Then suddenly our safety mattered? At what point did we start mattering?”

“We’ve got to totally reevaluate the way we’re looking at PPE […] We need to take it one step further and start asking the question, hey, you’re wearing it, but does it fit?”

Connect with Jodi Huettner

Jodi Huettner founded her company Helga Wear out of necessity after years of first-hand experience with the challenges, health and safety issues, and lost productivity for women on worksites face due to ill-fitting and inadequate PPE.

Her goal is to help companies find more SAFETY and more MONEY through body-specific PPE options, starting with safety coveralls and safety bib-overalls.

LinkedIn: Jodi Huettner

Facebook: @HelgaWearInc

Instagram: @helgawearinc

Website: helgawear.com

Connect with Aimee Arsenault

Aimee Arsenault is a CRSP and CHSC. She is the founder of Transmit Safety, a business that helps you simplify and streamline health & safety management systems.

Linkedin: Aimee Arsenault

Instagram: @transmit.safety

Twitter: @transmitsafety

Website: transmitsafety.com