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11 March 2004

LRD marks International Women's Day by publishing guide to women's health and safety
As women trade unionists prepare to attend the annual Women's TUC in Eastbourne, the Labour Research Department (LRD) is publishing Women's health and safety - a trade unionist's guide. This new LRD guide should help safety reps to take account of the often overlooked risks of injury and ill health for women workers.

Women face particular health and safety risks at work. Some of these are because they are women and therefore are affected by gender-specific issues such as pregnancy, the menopause and breast and cervical cancers.

Other hazards are a problem because of the types of jobs women do - for example, stress affects large numbers of women in teaching and nursing, and musculoskeletal disorders are a major problem for cleaners, assembly and office workers.

In addition, work equipment, tasks and protective clothing has often been designed for the male body shape and size, with insufficient attention paid to the requirements of female workers.

Women's health and safety - a trade unionist's guide provides detailed evidence of the hazards affecting working women. It explains the framework of health and safety law and places particular emphasis on regulations and case law that can be used to protect women from injury and ill health at work.

This latest LRD guide also provides examples of union action to tackle the hazards facing women workers, and shows how safety reps can take a "gender-sensitive" approach to workplace health and safety. It includes a checklist for use by reps to ensure that the issues concerning women's health and safety are covered.

Notes to editors

1. Women's health and safety - a trade unionist's guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.75 or ?10.95 for employers or commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?30.95 (?76.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet contact Paul Hampton on 020 7902 9826. To order copies of the booklet telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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