Published March 7, 2017 at 11:35
Greater Manchester Hazards Centre thanks those selfless health and safety reps making a difference for all workers safety, health and welfare. We thank all those women campaigning for an improved environment and for better protection at work and in our communities.
At the heart of the campaigns across the world, women are fighting for improvements in our health, safety, welfare and the environment against a lack of understanding, research and action of our health and safety, plus false myths that women’s work is ‘light’ ‘easy’ and ‘safe’. It’s not true! Women frequently lift heavier loads than men, work longer hours for less pay, face violence, sexual harassment, work alone and face greater risks from stress and chemicals.
- Continue to be exposed to chemicals and toxins that damage their reproductive organs and damage their unborn children
- Are exposed to carcinogens which result in breast cancer and other cancers.
- Are put at risk of developing cancer by substances like asbestos, through washing their partners work clothes.
- Are provided with PPE designed for men, which does not protect them and is often an added burden because it doesn’t fit properly.
- Are put at risk because their physiology and anatomy is not considered when jobs and equipment are designed.
- Suffer from many musculoskeletal hazards because of the jobs they do: sitting for long periods at desks, lifting heavy bodies and products, and repetitive functions often at poorly designed equipment and work-stations
- Face the added burden of being subjected to sexual harassment, violent attacks and even rape
- Are employed in jobs that are often low paid, where they have to work long hours, shift work and subjected to huge exploitation which causes high blood pressure and mental stress hazards.org/cancer/graveyardshift.htm
- Some women in developing countries work in appalling, dangerous conditions which expose them to serious injury, illness and death
- In addition to their paid work outside the home, women are still responsible for most of the family caring responsibilities and housework and so do a double shift.
Good health, safety and welfare in our workplaces, relies on strong trade unions, with active health and safety representatives, a management committed to ensuring that risk assessments are gender sensitive, so that workplaces are safe and healthy for us all. We need good laws that support and protect us at work, in our communities, and strong enforcement of those laws.
Links: TUC Gender sensitive H&S checklist: https://www.tuc.org.uk/equality-issues/gender-equality/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/tuc-gender-and-occupational and Hazards Magazine on women safety reps http://www.hazards.org/women/reps/
If you would like to get involved in our campaigning work, please affiliate your organisation to: Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester, M16 7WD Tel: 0161 636 7557 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.gmhazards.org.uk