Gender issues in safety and health at work — a review

EU & international information
EU
English
2003

Popis

Because of strong occupational gender segregation in the EU labour market, which remains high despite changes in the world of work, women and men are exposed to different workplace environments and different types of demands and stressors, even when they are employed in the same sector and ply the same trade. There is strong segregation between sectors and between jobs in the same sector, and there can be segregation of tasks even when women and men have the same job title in the same workplace. There is also strong vertical segregation within workplaces, with men more likely to be employed in more senior positions.

Other gender differences in employment conditions also have an impact on occupational safety and health (OSH). Women are more likely to be in low-paid, precarious work and this affects their working conditions and the risks they are exposed to. Gender inequality both inside and outside the workplace can affect women’s safety and health at work, and there are significant links between wider discrimination issues and health.

This report aims to give guidance on what is needed to mainstream gender into all areas of OSH in practice and will serve as an important input to the realisation of the Community strategy, which includes gender mainstreaming as an objective.

The findings of the report include the following key issues:

• Both women and men can face significant risks at work.

• Different jobs are associated with different levels of exposure to hazards.

• Gender segregation in the home — unequal sharing of household duties adds to women’s workload.

• Different exposure to work hazards leads to different health outcomes.

• Reproductive hazards — there is an unequal focus.

• Examples of hazards and risks in areas in which women tend to work are given.

• There are links between equality and OSH.

• The risks of ignoring gender issues are discussed.

• Research gaps — knowledge of risks that affect women must be improved.

• Promoting equality in prevention — gender mainstreaming and gender impact assessments are important.

• Action must be taken to improve gender sensitivity in risk prevention.


Other data

Sector / Industry covered: 
Not sector specific
Provider: 
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Biological hazard: 
Microbiological hazards (Microorganism)
Biochemical hazards
Hazard - physical state: 
Aerosols
Dusts
Fibres
Gases
Liquids
Nanoparticles (airborne liquids/solids including smoke or mist)
Solids
Vapours
Hazard - health effects: 
Allergens
Skin sensitisers
Asthmagens
Asphyxiants
Carcinogens
Mutagens
Reprotoxic substances
Neurotoxic substances
Irritants
Toxic substances
Infection
Exposure route: 
Dermal contact
Ingestion
Inhalation
Ocular (through eyes)
Sharps and cuts
Skin absorption
Substance Description: 

Cleaning, sterilising and disinfecting agents; drugs; anaesthetic gases, organic solvents, latex, pesticides, tobacco smoke, benzene, vinyl chloride, nickel, chronium-6, fuel, Carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene

CAS Number: 
12172-73-5
71-43-2, 1076-43-3
75-01-4
7440-02-0
68476-26-6
50-00-0
56-23-5
79-01-6
EC number: 
601-801-3
200-753-7
200-831-0
231-111-4
270-667-2
200-001-8
200-262-8
201-167-4
Prevention measures: 
Level 1. Elimination of hazards
Level 1. Substitution
Level 2. Technical measures, e.g. local exhaust ventilation
Level 2. Reducing / minimising the risk by organisational measures, e.g. reducing the number of workers exposed
Level 3. Reducing / minimising the risk by personal measures (PPE)
Training / guidance
Hygiene measures
Purpose of the material: 
Awareness raising
Guidance
Report
Target group: 
All (no specific target group)

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