The union lists six reasons for taking action:
• Many workplace risks, such as lifting and twisting, exposure to chemicals, long hours, stress, high or low temperatures, may affect women more seriously than men because of physical differences, work and home lives.
• The jobs many women do, such as cleaning, caring, clerical work or call centres,are often for long hours and repetitive.
• There are physical differences from men, but chemical exposure limits, uniforms and protective equipment are often designed for a man of average weight or height.
• Housework and caring duties mean women can double their exposure to chemicals and heavy lifting.
• Discrimination against women can heighten safety hazards. Low pay and income, the burden of caring for others or domestic violence can add to workplace stress; women working alone or on night shifts may feel more vulnerable.
• Pregnancy, menstruation and the menopause can make safety risks – such as standing for too long, insufficient toilet breaks or working at high temperatures –more serious.
Click here to view the toolkit.