Synergy Group is rolling out new tailor-made personal protective equipment (PPE) to its growing number of female seafarers. The Singapore shipmanager, which employs over 20,000 seafarers, commissioned Hercules Safety to manufacture the new gear which was designed by textile engineers in conjunction with female seafarers and maritime safety experts.
The aim is to ensure the final cut maximised comfort and versatility for crew deployed in a maritime work environment where the highest standards of protection are required, the company said. The new PPE is currently being distributed to all female crew as port rotations allow. The roll-out takes on over 60 Synergy-managed vessels worldwide on which female seafarers are currently deployed.
Captain Radhika Menon, winner of the 2016 IMO award for exceptional bravery at sea and a mentor to Synergy’s young female seafarers, said: “These new coveralls are a great fit and super-functional: breathable, weatherproof, lightweight and comfortable. The fabric is suitable and protective for the bridge and for the engine room where it gets hot. It’s also resilient, just like our seafarers; a quality we are happy to celebrate as International Women’s Day draws near. This new PPE enhances safety which is always Synergy’s priority.”
Chief Officer Reshma Murkar said the commission of the new PPE sent a positive message about equality to the maritime community. “To be 100% work fit, we need the best fit, and that is what we have now,” she added. “These new PPE designs represent a clear commitment to supporting the role of women in shipping and illustrate why Synergy is making so much progress in its efforts to attract more women to our marvellous industry.”
Founded by Captain Rajesh Unni in 2006, Synergy has grown to become one of the leading shipmanagers, with a global network of over 25 offices across 13 countries and around 540 vessels on its books, including tankers, bulkers, containers and gas carriers. The company has been expanding the number of women in its ranks at sea and ashore for many years and its commitment to encouraging women to become seafarers now includes its own Chakra Scholarship which enables 14-15 years old students to begin training to join the maritime industry.