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August 26, 2013

New OSHA Resources for Women in Construction

OSHA has created a Women in Construction web page. The new page addresses safety and health issues specific to female construction workers, including PPE and sanitary facility concerns, and also provides information on female employment in construction and additional resources.

OSHA also will work with the National Association of Women in Construction to develop training programs, fact sheets and other outreach resources on musculoskeletal hazards, sanitation and PPE selection. The alliance will focus on these and other safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. Two key points from the new page:
  • PPE must fit properly to provide effective protection, and PPE used by women should be based on female body measurement data. Women should make a point to test employer-provided PPE to ensure proper fit.
  • In addition to compliance with OSHA regulations, employers should provide separate bathrooms for male and female workers, including hand sanitizer. If night work is required, bathroom facilities should be maintained in open areas that are well illuminated.
The number of women employed in the U.S. construction industry grew by 81.3% from 1985 to 2007; however, due to a loss of over 2.5 million construction jobs from 2007 to 2010, there has been a sharp decline of women working. About 9% of U.S. construction workers are women, with some 200,000 employed in production occupations such as laborers, electricians, plumbers, etc.

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