Are women who work on Pennsylvania construction sites at risk?

Construction workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in Pennsylvania. Due to the nature of their work, injuries are most common on construction sites. Many workers may suffer falls or accidents involving equipment or tools used on a construction site. Federal and state authorities continually encourage all employers to maintain a safe workplace.

Due to inherent risk of construction workers' accidents, the number of female workers hired by the construction industry is substantially less than the national average of most other industries. Statistics show that only 9 percent of all construction workers are women. While the number of workers employed in the industry had initially grown substantially in the last decade, the economic downturn may have discouraged many women from applying for construction-related jobs.

One of the major drawbacks for women in the construction industry is the lack of prompt response to workplace injuries. Even though Pennsylvania law prescribes that any worker suffering any injury related to the workplace must be paid workers' compensation, in many cases it has been observed that due compensation has not been paid.

In cases where the workplace has been found to be unsafe or where the employer has not adequately maintained the workplace, employees have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is responsible for overseeing workplace safety in most industries. Upon receiving such complaints, the authorities may investigate the workplace to ensure that the construction site is safe for workers. It is the right of every Pennsylvania resident to work in a safe work environment.

Source: OSHA.gov, "Women in construction," Accessed on Feb. 19, 2015

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