Labour Research November 2004

News from LRD

Women's health and safety conference

The Labour Research Department (LRD) hosted a successful conference on Women's Health and Safety in September.

Around 180 reps attended - 87% of them women - in one of the largest gatherings of women safety reps for some time. The conference was part of a project sponsored by the European Agency for Safety and Health and involved working with Italian union CGIL-INCA and French research organisation Emergences, linked to the CGT.

The conference heard LRD's Andrea Oates describe the systematic discrimination faced by women at work, the health risks for women and practical strategies to tackle the hazards.

Ruth Cross from USDAW shopworkers' union related her union's findings on pregnancy in the retail sector, where most employers are breaking the law. And Hope Daley from public services union UNISON explained the hazards faced by kitchen workers.

Safety expert Jane Paul explained the need for a gender-sensitive approach to health and safety, while Hugh Robertson of the TUC set out the organisation's campaigning priorities.