Women and Health and Safety

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There are fourteen 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. The TUC has published a guide to gender issues and health and safety.


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

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

TUC report on Personal Protective Equipment and Women

More than 60 Health and Safety reps attended the Health & Safety Forum event held on Tuesday 18 th October in Newcastle. In her introduction, Beth Farhat, TUC Regional Secretary, said today’s event is one in a series organised by the Forum in response to requests from workplace health and...
21 October 2016
A new report published today (Monday) by the TUC says workers have been experiencing a significant increase in stress, which in some cases has led to mental ill health, as a result of the impact of austerity on their work and home lives. The report is based on a seminar...
30 March 2015
One in seven women has safety concerns about the journey to and from work, a survey by the retail union Usdaw has found.
16 March 2012
The menopause is an important occupational health issue, the TUC has said, and is calling on employers to provide more support at work.
11 March 2011
Significantly higher rates of lung cancer deaths - sometimes double what would be expected - occurred in US women who worked in more than 40 occupations between 1984 and 1998.
11 February 2011
Nearly 2,000 women contract breast cancer every year in the UK because they work night shifts, according to a new report.
07 May 2010
Employers should not be able to penalise staff for using the toilet in work time, and should provide their employees with clean, modern lavatories, says the TUC today (Monday) as it calls for a change in the law to bring workplace loos into the 21st century.
08 March 2010
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
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
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