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OSHA last month announced it has signed an alliance with the National Association of Women in Construction to develop training resources to protect women in the construction industry.
“The alliance will focus on musculoskeletal and sanitation hazards and issues related to poorly-fitting personal protective equipment,” the agency said in a statement.
TAUC Safety Committee Chair Kathleen Dobson of Alberici Constructors – who also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for NAWIC’s Detroit chapter – will lead a new task force created by NAWIC to coordinate efforts with OSHA.
OSHA also unveiled a new web page on Women in Construction that “outlines and addresses safety and health issues specific to female construction workers, including PPE, sanitary facilities and other resources.” The web page was created based on a recommendation from OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.
“Safety and health problems in construction create barriers to women entering and remaining in this field,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through this alliance, we will work together to forge innovative solutions to improve the safety, health and working conditions for women in the construction trades and retain them during a critical time of job shortages in this industry.”
“During the two-year agreement, the alliance intends to develop training programs, fact sheets and other outreach resources on musculoskeletal hazards, sanitation and PPE selection,” OSHA added. “The alliance will focus on these and other safety and health issues specific to female construction workers.”
NAWIC, founded in 1955 as a support network for women working in the construction industry, has more than 150 chapters and represents 4,500 members nationwide. As of 2010, there were about 800,000 women working in the construction industry, roughly nine percent of the industry workforce.