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This Women's Day, pay attention to how you protect the women in your workplace

by , 08 August 2014
It's Woman's Day tomorrow and that means you should take the opportunity today to think about the women in your workplace. Regardless of whether your female employees work at desks or tackle hard labour like your male employees do, you have to ask yourself: 'What have I done to protect them?'

And while your company health and safety programme must protect all your employees, there are few situations when you need to give your female employees extra protection.

Read on to find out what these cases are...


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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer

When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses? 
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There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations. 
 
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Here's when you need to give your female employees a bit of extra protection

 
With more and more women taking on corporate roles, more and more of them choose to work late into pregnancy. This means you may have very pregnant employees in your workplace at some point. Pregnancy is a dangerous time for a woman because her body has to work in hyperdrive. 
 
This means you need to protect these women. If they do hard labour then it's best to move them to desk work until after the baby's born. And allow them to take plenty of breaks because pregnant women get very tired, very quickly. 
 
There's one more situation when you need to be aware of your female employees' safety.
 

Be aware of your female employees' safety in male dominated work

 
Sadly, sexual harassment and sexual assault are very present in workplace today. 90% of the time, this harassment and assault comes from male employees who harass the women in their workplace.
 
If one of your female employees reports either of these offences to you, you MUST take action. If there's even a suggestion that one of your male employees is threatening the rights and safety of a female employee you can't sit back and do nothing.
 
So stand up for the women in your workplace. Remember, they're just as important as any other employees. 
 
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