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Women and health and safety

For more information on Health and safety issues for women click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

There are ten million working women in Britain. Many factors have helped keep occupational health a "men only" issue, from bad science to prejudice, to the jobs we do. The two enduring myths are that men do all the risky work and when women do get hurt it is explained by differences in gender, not jobs.

Women are more exposed to repetitive and monotonous work and to stressful conditions, young women are more likely to be assaulted at work than men and women are more likely than men to experience back strain, skin diseases, headaches and eyestrain.

Women's workplace health problems are frequently compounded by getting more of the same at home - the "double jeopardy " of domestic work, which can mean a second shift of lifting, responsibility and chemicals topping off those experienced all day at work.


TUC pages on Gender and Occupational Safety & Health(GOSH)

TUC Gender and Occupational Safety and Health 'Gender-sensitivity' Checklist

TUC report: No more 'men only'; health and safety

GMB guide: Don't let Employers be Gender Blind

European Agency for Safety and Health - Women and health at work webpages

US agency CDC women's webpages

TUC briefing: Pregnant women and risk assessment

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Women and work hazards
International Women's Day, 8 February, prompted a number of organisations to create new or dust off their old materials on women and work hazards.
PDF version available for download
14 March 2008

Older women's workplace health 'neglected'
Too little is known about the work and health of older women, according to a new report.
PDF version available for download
10 November 2006

Temp work 'harms women's health'
Women in temp jobs are more likely than men in similar posts to have their employment terminated if they are often off sick, a study has found.
PDF version available for download
3 March 2006

Britain's workers stand for worse conditions than the Victorians
Up to 11 million UK workers could face serious health problems from prolonged standing at work, and they are offered less protection than employees from the Victorian era, says a new report from the TUC published today (Thursday).
25 August 2005

TUC comment on fatal injuries statistics
Commenting on the Health & Safety Commission's (HSC) latest detailed statistics on fatal injuries released today, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
28 July 2005

Employers failing to protect pregnant women at work
The Equal Opportunities Commission recently found that the majority of employers failed to undertake the legally required risk assessments to protect new or expectant mothers at work. Around 350,000 women continue to work during their pregnancy every year and of those, 69% return to work after giving birth.
20 May 2005

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