Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Women workers and construction worksite safety in Illinois


Construction sites are inherently dangerous working environments. Construction sites have heavy equipment and machinery, ladders and other working tools that may provide a risk to the safety of construction workers. State law in Illinois allows for worker's compensation for all work-related accidents and injuries suffered by employees.

As time goes on, an increasing number of woman are joining the Illinois workforce. The same gender increase has been reflected on construction sites, which report growth of more than 81percent in the number of female workers in the construction industry. Keeping construction sites safe is a basic and mandatory requirement by law assigned to the construction site employers in order to prevent construction accidents.

The recent downturn in the American economy has affected many types of American industry, including the construction industry, which manifested itself in a lower female construction workforce. Even with the loss of jobs around 800,000, female construction workers are still working nationwide, according to authorities. As a result, keeping construction sites safe for female employees has to be a priority for employers.

The U.S. Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has prescribed various recommendations for keeping construction sites safe. While many of the problems and perils faced by men and women in construction are similar, women may face some unique hazards, which must be addressed by employers.

Construction sites may be especially hostile for women, if male construction workers fail to accept women in the traditionally male-dominated workplace. Many cases of sexual assault have been alleged by women in the construction industry. Such construction site workplace problems can be addressed when the injured female worker exercises her legal right to fight against workplace discrimination and harassment in any form.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Women in construction," accessed March 5, 2015

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