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diversity and safety

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and safety

Exploring the links between inclusion and safety, and its importance in making the world a safer place.

Lloyd's Register Foundation has commissioned the National Safety Council to collate published evidence and expert opinion from wide consultation, to inform our understanding of the link between inclusion and safety and highlight where there are gaps in knowledge. The work will garner consensus from a community of global safety and EDI experts and recommend steps that can be taken to make progress towards a more inclusive, and safer, world.   

The Foundation has published a series of Foresight and Insight reviews which are chosen to reflect areas that are important in supporting our mission. The reports are exploratory and seek to adopt a broad scope, to outline current issues and make recommendations for future progress. This work will be published as an Insight review to stimulate thinking and action in research, policy and business communities, and inform wider debate in society about the safety related challenges facing us.   

There have been many examples cited of the inadequacy of safety provisions for those that do not fit the ‘reference man’ norm, particularly for women[1].  A 2016 survey of more than 3000 women working in different sectors in the UK found that only 29% of their PPE was specifically designed for women, and that 57% of women reported that their PPE had significantly hampered their work (with an additional 27% sometimes hampered by it)[2]. Similar issues are faced by men from non-white ethnic groups, who also don’t fit this norm. A recent review and meta-analysis on the health and safety of women in the construction industry suggests that research is lacking[3]. 

A truly inclusive approach to safety should encompass all aspects of equity, diversity and inclusion be that related to sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion. The report will explore the link between inclusion and safety from a global perspective, and address the question: if we get inclusion right, will there be an impact on safety? 

The Insight report will be published in the Autumn of 2023. The evidence and insight generated by this study will enhance the understanding of EDI in the context of safety and support the development of policies, procedures and reporting to address the gaps in current EDI/safety performance.  

Please get in touch via the form below for further information on the work.


[1] Criado-Perez, C (2019) Invisible women: exposing data bias in a world designed for men. Chatto & Windus

[2] Prospect Union (2016) Women’s personal protective equipment: one size does not fit all.  Available from https://library.prospect.org.uk//download/2016/01299

[3] Mariam, A (2021) A scientometric review and meta-analysis of the health and safety of women in construction: structure and research trends  Journal of Engineering Design & Technology 19(2) 446-466 

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