A new guide urges people to consider gender differences when planning health and safety guidelines.
The TUC has published the new guide for trade union representatives when identifying health and safety concerns at work.
Historic assumptions out of date
Historically, the health and safety needs of men have been prioritised over women as risk prevention has focused on visibly dangerous work in industries like construction and mining. As these are largely carried out by men, it’s been assumed that the kind of work that women do is safer.
But the new guide claims that this sort of ‘one size fits all’ approach is out of date.
The launch comes ahead of International Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28). This year, the day is based around the theme of ‘good health and safety for all workers – whoever they are’.
The TUC says that taking into account gender when assessing risk and deciding suitable risk control solutions increases the chances of ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all workers is protected.
Right tool for right job
A checklist has been provided around gender at work including questions on whether sex and gender differences are taken into account in manual handling risk assessments.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “People come in all shapes and sizes and when it comes to health and safety, the ‘one size fits all’ approach is old-fashioned and dangerous. Nowhere is that clearer then when looking at gender.
“Pressing for healthy, safe workplaces for everyone is part and parcel of the union rep’s role, and the TUC’s new gender checklist will help reps to pursue issues around gender in the workplace, and make sure that all workers have the best possible protection from illness or injury.
“Safety studies show that workers are twice as likely to be seriously injured in a non-unionised workplace. I would urge any man or woman worried about their health and safety at work to join a union, to make sure that their concerns are heard and that their interests are protected.”
Date Published: April 28, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown