Occupational health and safety have been largely debated for decades now, and out of nowhere, recently, women’s health and safety at the workplace has been brought to discussion. Women’s rights have become a focus area as our society is actively trying to improve their working conditions, their chances to be subjected to workplace injuries and abuse and to create a healthy and safe workplace environment. Mental health is also an increasingly important area of interest for both employers and employees as well. Regardless, in many women’s case, their work remains underpaid, unregistered and unrecognized. Many women, especially in less developed rural areas of the world, still work in the fields, agriculture labour, they manage unregistered retail businesses with home-made goods or crops. There is the case of sex workers, especially in those areas where this is not legalized and women’s right are not followed in any type or regard. Below are some of the most important women’s health concerns that should stop being ignored by companies and CEOs. Also, new provisions should be included for proper results. Below are some of the most efficient ways in which companies can provide a healthier and workplace environment for their women employees.
Women and Their Reproductive Health
While women’s reproductive health isn’t traditionally debated at the workplace, a woman’s life is in a deep connection with it. Reproductive issues might prevent women from working effectively and companies to offer a safe workplace environment. However, recently a shift of view has emerged and women’s reproductive health in the workplace has been largely debated. More hazards associated with occupational health have been identified and companies and policymakers try to include more laws to offer women a healthier and less damaging workplace environment for women. Also, as personal injury lawyers and solicitors explained, women’s health cases and lawsuits can be more easily won in court, which comes as a big improvement, compared to the previous years.
A range of occupational reproductive hazards have been identified, and today, such cases and claims are easier to win and receive the rightful compensations. Pregnant women who were subjected to workplace accidents can now access personalised services to represent them in court, and for this a good documentation resource is the Gary Matthews no win no fee explained process. In many cases, personal injury claims for accidents that occurred at the workplace, in pregnant women’s case can be associated with pregnancy difficulties, and even pregnancy loss. Most obviously, these cases are difficult to approach, but their severity makes the claiming part very likely to win.
Moreover, ignoring women’s issues associated with their reproductive systems should stop in companies of all dimensions. Inflammation, severe aches and bleeding should allow women to claim self-care days off in which to restore a proper health level. In many cases, women are forced to work in severe pain associated with their reproductive systems: endometriosis, PMS and other inflammatory disorders of the uterus or ovaries. In today’s workplace environment, women are forced to ignore their pain, otherwise, they are at a high risk of losing their jobs. This shouldn’t be a normal state of facts.
Women’s Mental Health at the Workplace
Another area of interest in workers’ health and safety has become mental health, for both men and women. However, the mental health risks at which each category is exposed differ enormously. Women are more inclined to be victims of sexual assault and violence at the workplace, which in return can also lead to severe mental health issues. Statistically, at least 25% of the working women are subjected to a type of sexual harassment in the workplace. Some reports even claim it can reach 85%. Of course, preventive measures have to be addressed, to reduce the rates at which these events happen. On the other hand, women, just as well as men, have to receive proper mental health aid to solve their mental issues, regardless of their cause. While for many companies such issues shouldn’t be the employer’s focus, they can decrease employee’s effectiveness at the workplace and can lead to higher expenses for the employer as well, if left untreated.
Employees suffering from mental health issues have higher rates of absenteeism, which can be easily translated into higher expenses on the company’s part and lower productivity and profitability rates on employee’s part. While the effects are more difficult to see in large companies’ case, in small business establishments, their impact is quite of a profound one.
More days off, shorter working hours, can translate into employees with lower chances to develop mental health issues and make them more productive in the schedules allocated for work.
Women’s Respiratory Health at The Workplace in Developing Countries
Plenty of respiratory issues in women can be associated with their workplace environment. In developing countries, women working in kitchens and inhaling all the scents and vapours had higher chances to develop issues of the respiratory tract. Also, women working in manufacturing industries where scents and essences are used have similar risks. The candle, perfume, detergent manufacturing industries use such chemicals at a large scale, and these are fields with employees who are preponderantly women. Better ventilation systems, more frequent paid appointments to specialised medical practitioners, preventive measures should also be taken in order to prevent and potentially eliminate such risks for women’s health.
However, examining and assessing women’s health at the workplace is incredibly difficult in certain areas of the globe, especially rural, under-developed areas, as women oftentimes work without a contract, illegally, underpaid jobs, are subjected to human trafficking and lack proper health and reproductive education. In many cases, women work physically demanding jobs even in advanced stages of their pregnancy which is very likely to endanger their and their foetuses’ health.
Companies should seek better protection policies in women’s case, and these are just as many as working men, however, in many cases, women receive a poorer safety training at the beginning of their job trainings and this will see in the state of their health and number of workplace accidents.