Is it Safe for Women to Work in Construction? – This is a guest post.
According to the United States Department of Labor, 800,000 women are currently employed in construction, representing 9% of all construction workers. While male and female construction workers share many of the same risks, women also face some unique risks that can make it difficult for them to enter into the field or remain working in it.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of working in construction, the risks involved, and what to do if you are injured on the job. This is a must-read for any woman who is considering a career in this industry.
The Benefits of Working in Construction
The benefits for women who are considering a career in this industry are the same as the benefits to men. The biggest benefits most construction workers report include:
- Construction workers earn a good living
- Construction workers have job security
- You will be able to stay get fit on the job
- You will be able to work outdoors
- You can avoid getting into student loan debt
- There are easy entry requirements
Perhaps the biggest benefit of working in construction is being able to see tangible results of your efforts. It can be incredibly satisfying and rewarding to drive by a gorgeous building or a family home and know that you were a part of creating it.
6 Risks Women Face While Working in Construction
Let’s take a closer look at the risks women in construction face. In addition to the usual dangers, which include the risk of being crushed, falling, or being electrocuted, the following are some of the risks to women’s health and safety on construction sites.
Lack of Adequate PPE
One of the challenges that women disproportionately face is a lack of personal protection equipment that is designed to fit their bodies. Size options and stock of women’s PPE can both be extremely limited. In addition, construction employers may have limited knowledge regarding how and where to obtain PPE designed for women.
Lack of Adequate Sanitary Facilities
If you need to go to the bathroom while you’re on a construction site, chances are you will need to use a dirty unisex portable bathroom. Women in construction have reported increased urinary tract and kidney infections, heat stress, and dehydration due to avoiding drinking water and holding their urination on the job.
The Risk of Sexual Harassment
In 2018, Engineering News-Record conducted a survey of 1,248 women who worked in the construction industry. The survey’s respondents indicated that 66% had experienced sexual harassment or gender bias on the job, and another 60% had witnessed it. Sexual harassment can be driven by anger and insecurity. In a traditionally male-dominated workplace like construction, some male coworkers may harass women because they feel threatened by the idea that a woman can do their job.
What to Do if You Are Harassed or Injured
Don’t let your fear of the risks hold you back if you are interested in following your career path straight to a construction site. Many companies have placed increases focus on implementing anti-sexual-harassment policies, unisex bathrooms, and more PPE options to make it easier for the women who work for them.
If you are injured or harassed, you don’t have to take it, quit your job, or risk losing your job. A construction accident lawyer is experienced in these matters and understands the steps involved in getting you adequate compensation in cases of injuries and sexual harassment.
If you believe you’ve been a victim, stand up for your rights and contact a lawyer. You deserve to reap the benefits of being a construction worker just as much as any man on the job does.