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.
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