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

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TUC Gender and Occupational Safety and Health (G&OSH)
January 2008

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Checklist : How gender-sensitive is your workplace?

1.Your employer's workplace agreement or policy

  • Does the employer's health and safety policy or workplace agreement recognise that there are sex and gender differences in occupational safety and health (OSH)?
  • Has gender-sensitive health and safety been discussed with the union?
  • Does the agreement or policy commit the employer to addressing diversity in OSH?
  • Does the workplace agreement / policy commit the employer to consulting with all workers and their representatives - male and female, full-time and part-time, permanent and temporary, about OSH issues including risk assessments?

2.Your union policy

  • Does your union policy recognise that there are sex and gender differences in occupational safety and health?
  • Have you discussed gender-sensitive health and safety at your Branch meetings or at meetings of safety reps or equality reps?
  • Has the union discussed gender-sensitive health and safety with the employer?
  • Does your union policy commit the union to consulting all members- male and female, full-time and part-time, permanent and temporary, about OSH issues including risk assessments?

3.Health and safety management

  • Are women as well as men involved in health and safety management in the workplace?
  • Is there an appropriate gender balance on the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or other consultative structures?
  • Are all sections of the workforce represented on the JHSC or other consultative structures ?
  • Are health and safety issues and priorities of concern to women regularly discussed at the JHSC or other consultative structures, and are they taken seriously?
  • Are the employer's occupational health and safety advisors / managers aware of sex and gender differences affecting men's and women's health and safety at work?
  • Does the employer include gender awareness for all staff as part of their health and safety training, and in other training, such as inductions?

4.Safety reps and equality reps

  • Do all sections of the workforce, including predominantly female occupational groups, have access to a union safety rep?
  • Does this include part-time workers and temporary staff?
  • Do union safety reps regularly consult with women members as well as men about their health and safety concerns?
  • Are women members' concerns and priorities adequately reflected in the workplace health and safety agenda?
  • Are there any women safety reps in the workplace?
  • Do women safety reps attend JHSC/consultative meetings?
  • Does the union / branch have a policy of encouraging more women members to become safety reps and equality reps?
  • Do equality reps (if you have them) also discuss health and safety-related issues such as work-life balance, maternity protection, harassment or stress with the employer? If so, are these also discussed jointly with safety reps and union negotiators?
  • Does your union include gender awareness in their safety rep training?
  • Does your union offer health and safety courses for women representatives?

5.Risk assessment and prevention

  • Are risk assessments carried out and implemented by the employer?
  • If so, do risk assessments take account of sex and gender differences?
  • Are women as well as men consulted about risk assessments?
  • Are reproductive health risks to both men and women adequately assessed?
  • Are risk assessments relating to expectant, new and nursing mothers (and the unborn or breastfeeding child) carried out properly and in good time?
  • Do employers provide a private space for breastfeeding mothers to express milk, and also provide a safe and hygienic place for the milk to be stored?
  • Are any special reproductive health concerns of women and men such as work-related issues relating to fertility, prostate cancer, menstruation, menopause, breast cancer or hysterectomy adequately addressed?
  • Are risks of violence - including concerns about working alone on site or late into the evening, and access to safe parking - or work-related stress to women and men adequately addressed through risk assessment?
  • Are sex and gender differences taken into account in COSHH and manual handling risk assessments and in assessments of postural problems including prolonged standing or sitting?

6. Sickness absence management and investigation

  • Does the employer have a sickness absence management policy or workplace agreement?
  • Does the policy and practice ensure that any work-related health problems are properly investigated with a review of risk assessments where necessary?
  • Are members and union safety reps involved in any investigations?
  • Are members satisfied that the sickness absence management workplace agreement or policy is fair and non-discriminatory?

7.Reporting and monitoring procedures

  • Are all accidents and incidents regularly reported and reviewed, including near misses and work-related health problems (and those that may be made worse by work)?
  • Are all accident and ill health statistics systematically reviewed at JHSC/consultative meetings?
  • Is sex-disaggregated data (showing men and women separately) on accidents and ill health routinely collected?
  • Does the data differentiate not only between women and men but also between different jobs and job levels and between different shift patterns?
  • Are trends in the ill-health statistics analysed as well as trends in accidents and near misses?
  • Are all workers aware of the importance of reporting work-related ill health and health problems made worse by work, as well as accidents and near misses?
  • Does the union carry out any confidential surveys of members' health and safety concerns, and if so, are all members consulted?
  • Do union surveys allow the union to differentiate between men's and women's responses in the questionnaire design, analysis and findings?
  • Are the findings of any surveys reported and discussed with management, with feedback to all members?
  • Are women's and men's health and safety concerns and priorities treated equally seriously by the union and by management in these discussions?
  • Does the Union's bargaining agenda reflect member's gender-specific concerns?
  • Do the employer and trade union have the necessary negotiating machinery in place to consult and negotiate on health and safety changes and gender equality?

8. Any other issues identified specific to your workplace?

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