The "Gender Smart Safety Program" is set to be rolled out in January next year, after successfully being piloted by Oil Search, St Barbara and New Britain Palm Oil.
The program was developed by Papua New Guinea's Business Coalition for Women, and based around the premise that women experience some different workplace safety issues to men.
As such, the program requires women become involved in workplace training such as hazard identification, risk assessment and mitigation as well as decision making and safety management.
Many of the recommendations for safety improvements are relatively simple and low cost, and the feedback from the pilots reveal it improved safety for both male and female employees.
"A lot of women's workplace safety concerns like poorly fitting personal protection equipment, inadequate lighting, machinery operating dimensions and mechanisms that don't accommodate generally smaller and less muscular female bodies, as well as working with chemicals when you're pregnant or breastfeeding risk being overlooked," Pacific Towing HR manager Anna Ingip said.
The company operates in high risk marine environments throughout Oceania and Southeast Asia providing high risk services such as commercial diving, oil and chemical spill prevention and response, salvage and emergency response, with safety and vigilance being essential.
"Women will understandably pursue alternate employment options if their safety is not assured," Pacific Towing general manager Neil Papenfus said.
"Maximising the workplace safety of female staff, whether it's on vessels at sea, down on the wharves, or in the office is essential; We have heavily invested in programs to increase the number of women we employ and there is no way we're going to jeopardise that investment."