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European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

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You are here: Home Priority Groups Women and health at work
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Women and Health at Work

Women make up 45% of the employed population in the EU. Men and women are not the same and the jobs they do, their working conditions and how they are treated by society are not the same. These factors can affect the hazards they face at work and the approach that needs to be taken to assess and control them.

Factors to take into account include:

  • women and men are concentrated in certain jobs, and therefore face hazards particular to those jobs
  • women and men are physically different, including in regard to reproduction
  • women and men have different responsibilities in the home. Working women may have two jobs, at work and in the home.

It is therefore important to recognise these differences and take a 'gender sensitive' approach to health and safety at work.

EU-OSHA has produced some publications specifically on women. We also 'mainstream' gender into other reports, including reports on noise, MSDs and young workers. Other reports and web features cover occupational groups which have a predominantly female workforce such as cleaners, healthcare workers and the education sector. The resources in Practical Solutions are intended to help users take a gender-sensitive approach to identifying and preventing risks, contribute to the debate about how a gender sensitive approach can best be taken and also contribute to the sharing of research information on gender and occupational safety.

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