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OSHA Renews Alliance with Women's Trade Group

Friday, December 22, 2017

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Friday (Dec. 15) that it will continue to work with the National Association of Women in Construction to safeguard women workers in the building trades as part of a recently renewed alliance.

OSHA and NAWIC will continue working together for the next five years, aiming to protect the health and safety of women in the construction industry, focusing especially on personal protective equipment selection, sanitation and protection against intimidation and violence.

Woman on construction site
© iStock.com / kali9

OSHA has renewed its partnership with the National Association of Women in Construction, aimed at safeguarding women workers in the building trades.

Personal protective equipment can often be too large to correctly fit women workers, workplace-safety experts say. Construction sites often don’t have sufficient restroom facilities, a factor that can adversely affect women in particular on a male-dominated site, and lead women workers to avoid properly hydrating in order to reduce the need for restroom facilities.

Women workers are often subject to harassment or a hostile work environment, experts note, which can lead to distraction that may bring about a workplace injury.

Women in the Industry

According to NAWIC, women make up about 9 percent of the construction work force in the U.S., with a total of 939,000 women in the industry in 2016. Of those, 423,000 worked in sales and office positions, with 293,000 in professional and managerial roles. Less than a quarter of women in the industry worked natural resources, construction and maintenance jobs—about 196,000 total—while a small percentage worked service occupations and transportation and material moving jobs.

“Women represent a small, but growing segment of the construction workforce,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA’s renewed alliance with NAWIC will continue to promote innovative solutions to safety and health hazards unique to female construction workers.”

NAWIC was formed in 1955 and offers education and career development for women in the industry. 


Tagged categories: Construction; Health and safety; OSHA; Worker training

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