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OSHA renews focus on female worker safety

Female workers are a vital and growing part of the construction industry in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. In the past, safety measures have not always taken their unique needs into accounts; some may be wondering what federal safety organizations like OSHA are doing in response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently renewed its alliance with another organization, the National Association of Women in Construction, in the effort to promote safer and healthier working conditions for women. Formed in 1955, NAWIC currently provides over 4,000 women in the construction industry with a network through which they can further their education and professional development.

NAWIC is one of OSHA's many alliance partners. Organizations in the OSHA Alliance Program have the task of providing employers and employees in high-risk industries with access to safety and health information and tools.

Over the next five years of their alliance, OSHA and NAWIC plan to address the hazards particular to women in the construction industry, including the lack of personal protective equipment, poor sanitation, and intimidation and violence in the workplace. NAWIC will encourage risk awareness and prevention as well as promote various OSHA campaigns, such as the annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

The construction industry sees some of the highest injury rates, so when workers are involved in an accident, they should report it and let the employer know that they'll be filing for workers' comp benefits. To file for workers' compensation, the victim does not need to blame anyone's negligence for the accident; if, however, the employer failed to provide adequate equipment training, the victim might be able to file an injury claim. In either case, a lawyer may be able to estimate a reasonable settlement and handle all subsequent negotiations.

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