Working at construction sites can be hazardous. Workers have to go through lots of safety training, but still, the number of accidents is high in this sector. Besides the health and safety issues that all construction workers face, there are some issues that prevent women from working in this industry.
Personal protective equipment
Women get improperly fitting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Personal Protective Clothing (PPC). This compromises their personal safety. The PPE given to female workers should depend on the female’s body measurement. The PPE should fit properly so that the women workers can get protection. Employers must choose various sizes of PPE and PPC suitable for women.
There are not enough sanitary facilities available at the construction site. This makes women workers difficult to work for the whole day. Women often avoid drinking water while at work so that they don’t need to use any sanitary facility. This results in health issues, including bladder and kidney infections. Employers should provide accessible sanitary facilities at the construction site, especially for the women workers. These facilities must be well maintained.
Chemicals, like lead, affect’s the worker’s health. It particularly affects pregnant women. It is important to control the exposure of lead and other harmful chemicals. If pregnant women stand for a long period of time, then it can lead to preterm birth. Strenuous activities like climbing and lifting can be a problem during the later stages of pregnancy.
The employers should try to do something about these problems. They can keep PPE and PPC in sizes that are appropriate for women, have good sanitary facilities at the site and let the women workers do non-strenuous works during the time of their pregnancy. These changes in the workplace will encourage more women to enter the construction industry.
Attitudes Towards Recruitment
The language used in recruitment is often male biased and this possibly leads to less women applying for positions that appear to be geared towards male applications. Although all official job advertisements have to be in line with equal opportunity law, there are still many grey areas that can lead to less female applications.
Unless a job can only be performed by a man then we would like to see the recruitment processes revised.