Women make up 42% of the employed population in the EU. The jobs they do, their working conditions and how they are treated by society can affect the hazards they face at work and the approach that needs to be taken to assess and control them. Factors to take into account include:

The impact of gender on both men's and women's occupational health and safety is generally under-researched and poorly understood. However, discrimination against new and expectant mothers is well known and HSE has been working closely with other government departments to tackle this.

Promoting gender equality at work and tackling discrimination

HSE launched and promotes an Equality Impact Assessment Tool to mainstream diversity in our day-to-day work. It is designed to help staff identify and minimise any potential issues around equality.

Building the evidence base

Our review of research on gender sensitivity in occupational health and safety has increased our understanding of the issues in this area. We have identified three subject areas to promote on our website, including key issues and messages. These are:

Our links with specialists in the fields of gender equality and occupational health and safety have improved. For example we:

Review of research into gender and occupational health and safety

Understanding the impact of gender (social) and sex (biological) differences on men's and women's occupational health and safety can help reduce inequality in the workplace.

A review of research identified three broad areas:

Gender balance in industry

Under-representation of women in health and safety decision making

Gender (social) and sex (biological) differences

Working together, sharing intelligence and good practice

HSE's External Diversity Team monitor progress against diversity priorities and the annual action plan.

HSE is trying to provide appropriate support by building intelligence we can share. If you have any information or research that would help us build our evidence base about health and safety in the workplace in relation to this area, please feel free to send it to us at [email protected].

Useful links

Updated 2021-06-30