Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have partnered up with officials from the National Association of Women in Construction to create specific training resources to help to protect women in the construction industry. This team will be focusing on both musculoskeletal and sanitation dangers as well as issues that are related to poorly-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE).
Our Orlando construction accident lawyers understand that both health and safety problems in the construction industry create a serious barrier for women who are entering or are already employed in this field. It’s critical now to focus on the female workers in the industry as they’re striving to keep their positions during a time when there are some serious job shortages in the industry.
The partnership between OSHA and with the National Association of Women in Construction will continue through the next two years as the team creates new training tools, relevant fact sheets and various outreach resources on their risks on the job, including PPE selection, sanitation as well as musculoskeletal issues.
Also included in the new partnership is the Women in Construction Webpage, which is offering a plethora of options and advice to keep women safe in the industry.
Today, nearly 60% percent of women age 16 and over participate in the workforce. While women have made some gains in occupations traditionally occupied by men, construction trades remain overwhelmingly male dominated. While the construction industry has been growing in recent years, the number of employed women remains fairly small in comparison to the men. Overall, the number of construction workers grew by more than 81 percent from 1985 to 2007. On the other hand, there was a loss of more than 2.5 million jobs in construction from 2007 to 2010. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there are close to 1 million female workers who are employed in the construction industry.
The truth of the matter is that workers, both male and female, have a right to a safe workplace. Under federal law, employers are required to provide their workers with job conditions that are free of known dangers. Officials with OSHA provide information, training, and assistance to workers and employers who may require a little help getting started and keeping their sites hazard free.
One of the most common problems that women have on the job involve the culture of the workplace. Isolation–working as the only female on a job site or being ostracized by co-workers evokes both fear of assault and stress. Many tradeswomen report that they are reluctant to report workplace safety and health problems lest they be tagged as complainers or whiners, straining further their workplace relationships and jeopardizing their employment situation.
Whatever problems, difficulties or concerns you have on the job, it is your responsibility and your right to step forward and speak up. You should never fear retaliation from your employer for speaking out. Not only is this unfair, it’s illegal.