Published: 08/01/2020

Trade unions help make workplaces safer and healthier for all workers, women and men, but often women’s occupational health and safety (OHS) is neglected, putting workers at risk of injury and ill-health.

Many women trade union members have raised concerns that health and safety issues particularly affecting women at work (such as gender-related violence, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause) are not being adequately addressed. The IUF has now published a resource on integrating gender into workplace health and safety.

This resource includes a brief outline of the problem, specific concerns raised by IUF affiliates, and proposals for action. It includes a briefing on do it yourself research including body and hazard mapping, and a checklist of issues which can help trade union members fully integrate gender into occupational health and safety.

A gendered approach to OHS emphasizes that it is the employers’ responsibility to make the workplace safe for every worker and exposes the dangers of behavior based safety, which makes the individual worker responsible for workplace safety.