Protecting Female Workers on Construction Sites

Officials with the National Association of Women in Construction have recruited the help of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help ensure the safety of female workers on our nation’s construction sites. With this particular alliance, officials will target musculoskeletal and sanitation dangers as well as issues that come along with poorly-fitting personal protective equipment.
“Safety and health problems in construction create barriers to women entering and remaining in this field,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Our Asheville worker’s compensation lawyers understand that this alliance is going to help develop specific training programs for women while focusing on safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. Also with this partnership, officials have unveiled the Women in Construction Web page. This is a website site that outlines and addresses various health and safety issues that are specific to women in the construction industry.

Unfortunately there is still an attitude in this industry that operator type roles are a ‘man’s job’, which off course is not entirely true. The truth of the matter is that women are now marrying later in life, earning higher educational degrees, delaying childbirth, and having fewer children than in previous years. More women are choosing to continue working while also balancing the traditional parenting responsibilities.

The number of women working in the U.S. construction industry has grown substantially, by more than 80 percent from 1985 to 2007; however, due to a loss of close to 3 million construction jobs from 2007 to 2010, there has been a significant drop in the number of women working.

In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that close to 165,000 women were working in the construction industry. And that’s a number that we can expect to grow.

The study of improving a fall-arrest harness suggested a more upward back D-ring location for women than current unisex designs to accommodate women’s torso form and address their fit problems. Results also suggested an improved system of three sizes for women and three for men. This is just one of the examples of women requiring different protection than men.

Many women think that their male co-workers are more adept due to the benefits they receive from mentoring, coaching, and general acceptance by their male colleagues.

In truth, many female workers require specific personal protective equipment, and we’re not talking about the “one-size-fits-all” protective equipment. You have a right to the proper equipment that’s going to keep you safe. You also have a right to complete the jobs you’re capable of performing. Employers are required to make sure that everyone is provided with the proper protection equipment, regardless of age, sex or job position.

If you or someone you love has suffered work injury in North or South Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices at 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Booming Construction Industry: More Work Injuries?, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2013

Road to Recovery After Loss of Limb, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 21, 2013

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