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Safety challenges exist for women in the construction industry

All workers have the right to a safe workplace. Women who work in the construction industry aren't an exception to that. While the percentage of women in the construction industry is very small, employers who have female construction workers must do their part to ensure that these workers have everything they need to work in a safe environment.

One issue that some women have is that the personal protective equipment that is readily available on construction sites is for men. Some of the equipment is universal; however, other equipment might be ill-fitting on a woman's body. Improperly fitted personal protective equipment and personal protective clothing can be a safety hazard. The notion that one sizes fits all doesn't apply to protective equipment in the construction industry.

Another issue that must be addressed is the presence of sanitary facilities on the job site. This aspect of having a female construction worker is one that can prove especially challenging. Temporary facilities, such as portable rest facilities, are often unsanitary and unclean. In some cases, the doors on the facilities might not have a working lock to provide privacy.

Some women won't use the temporary facilities, which can lead to her not drinking enough fluid on the job site. She might also hold her bladder. Failing to drink enough can lead to dehydration. Holding the bladder longer than one hour after the urge to urinate can lead to urinary tract infections. Simply providing women with a sanitary place to take care of nature's calls can help to alleviate these concerns.

When a woman is injured or becomes ill because of workplace-related factors, she might opt to seek compensation from the employer. Understanding how to do this in Texas can help her decide her plan of action.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "Women in Construction," accessed Oct. 29, 2015

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