Gender in occupational safety and health - A TUC guide for trade union activists

Gender in occupational safety and health - A TUC guide for trade union activists

Article summary taken from: 

https://www.tuc.org.uk/node/126771

Unions are committed to improving the working lives and conditions of all workers. Pressing for healthy, safe workplaces for everyone is part and parcel of the union representative’s role. Being aware of the issues relating to gender in occupational health and safety ensures unions strive to ensure that workplaces are safer and healthier for everyone. 

This is because, where the differences between men and women are acknowledged when assessing risk and deciding suitable risk control solutions, there is a greater chance of ensuring that the health, safety and welfare of all workers is protected. 

Spotting the differences

Men and women have physical, physiological and psychological differences that can determine how risks affect them. Women are also the ones who give birth and, in most cases, look after children or assume other family caring responsibilities. 

The employment experiences of men and women also differ, because women and men are still often found in different occupations, or treated differently by employers.  

This means that men still tend to predominate more visibly heavy and dangerous work, such as construction, where there are high levels of injury from one-off events. Women, on the other hand, still tend to work in areas where work-related illness arises from less visible, long-term exposures to harm. Even in the same workplace, with the same job title and carrying out the same tasks, men and women can experience different demands, exposures and effects.

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Filed under: 
Gender, TUC