Tradeswomen Concerned About Safety Amid COVID-19

Source: Dmitrii Shironosov/123RF

A survey of 445 tradeswomen in the United States and Canada on the impact of COVID-19 conducted in March and April by Chicago Women in Trades – a training and advocacy organization for female workers – found that respondents identified improperly fitting PPE, unsanitary bathrooms, and lack of handwashing facilities, as three of the most common concerns on jobsites.

All three can cause concerns about a lack of protection against COVID-19.

On its Women in Construction webpage, OSHA says women should test employer-provided PPE for fit and comfort, and that protective gear worn by women should be based on body measurement data. Proper fit is important to ensure workers are effectively protected from hazards.

OSHA’s Sanitation standard, 29 CFR 1926.51 requires employers to provide accessible sanitary facilities for ALL personnel and to ensure that these facilities are maintained in an appropriately clean and sanitary condition.

Results of a CDC survey published in June show that pregnant women also are 1.5 times more likely to be admitted into an intensive care unit and 1.7 times more likely to receive mechanical ventilation.

After dozens of states experienced rises in COVID-19 cases in June and July, experts say employers should focus on keeping workers, including women, safe and healthy.