Jobsite Safety for Women

Approximately 872,000 women currently work in the construction industry, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor. Seventy-five percent of those women are in administrative, sales or management positions. This leaves 25 percent of women in the construction workforce exposed to the same daily safety and health risks as their male counterparts; yet, their specific protection from these hazards has not been fully addressed.

Too frequently, women are forced to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing that is not the correct size or fit. For fear of being ostracized on the jobsite, women are intimidated to make requests for proper gear that will set them apart from their coworkers.

These safety hazards create gender barriers and can deter women from seeking employment in the construction industry. It is important to acknowledge this stigma and educate employers on the detrimental repercussions of ignoring any safety standards. As construction companies push to fill the labor gap, it is imperative for companies to become progressive in their marketing approach and create a culture that will address the specific safety needs of women workers.

OSHA requires employers to provide all employees with a safe workplace, but every 18 seconds a worker is injured on the jobsite. Once a jobsite safety hazard assessment has been completed, a list of PPE should be disseminated to all employees. This list should also notify employees of the potential hazards, provide training on how to avoid injury and educate them on required PPE. It is the employer’s responsibility to supply the required equipment to each employee at no charge. However, the construction industry lacks the provisions, research and development necessary to provide personal protective equipment suitable for women.


Ill-fitting PPE and clothing compromise workers’ safety on the jobsite. Women have a right to test all equipment that is provided to them to ensure a proper fit. OSHA mandates PPE be designed anthropometrically, which is the science of defining human body dimensions and physical characteristics. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts anthropometric research to prevent work-related injuries and deaths by studying how work spaces, equipment and clothing fit a diverse worker population.

Most anthropometric data available to date is from the 1970s. This research was based on the body sizes and shapes of modern military personnel and the general working population from that era. This decades-old data does not represent the sizes and body types of today’s female workers.


A recent NIOSH study of 26 women construction workers evaluated the efficacy of a fall protection harness system. Their body size and shape information was measured while they were suspended in a standard size harness and standing with a harness. It was discovered that an integrated redesign of harness components is needed because 40 percent of the women did not pass fit-performance criteria in either the standing or suspended condition.


All project managers, superintendents and foremen should understand how to identify job safety hazards specific to demographics of their workers and their jobsites. Jobsite hazard communication plans and emergency preparedness plans should be in place and disseminated to all workers.

It is beneficial to hire a safety consultant that is familiar with the science of teaching and incorporating a corporate safety culture. The construction industry is evolving and companies are charged with staying ahead of these changes to attract and retain the skilled labor needed to complete their jobs. As the industry shifts and more women are encouraged to enter the trades, companies will no longer be able to ignore these gender disparities.

Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy Eating PyramidIn our media-centered society, it can be nearly impossible to keep up with the latest nutrition news and sort out the real advances in nutrition from the fad diets. And with so many of us leading very busy lifestyles, it can be even more difficult to eat healthy on the run.  This article will offer some basic tips that will help you develop and maintain a healthy diet and not get caught up in the latest fad diets.

To begin your healthy diet plan make sure you include all of the major food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat and lean protein, and healthy fats.

Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that protect us from diseases and infections including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.  Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber to aid our digestive system and help us to feel full longer.

To maximize the vitamins and minerals from produce, try to eat five servings per day and eat a variety of colors throughout your day and week.  Some examples of nutrient-rich fruits include dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, apples, oranges, and bananas.  To avoid getting bored with your fruits and vegetables, try as many new ones as possible and eat in season for maximum flavor.

Whole grains: Whole grains are important because they give us energy in the form of carbohydrates.  They also contain dietary fiber that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.  The fiber in whole grains also provides sustained energy and helps us to feel fuller longer.

Whole grains also contain B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and selenium that support healthy metabolic, circulatory immune systems.  Most adult women need about 6 servings of whole grains per day, although requirements vary with activity level.

Avoid eating refined grains—i.e. foods made with enriched or white flour—as much as possible as refined grains do not supply the fiber and minerals that whole grains do and often contain high amounts of sugar.  To eat more whole grains, try whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, bulgur wheat, barley, quinoa, and oatmeal.

Protein: Proteins support healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Proteins provide our bodies with important vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, and magnesium; they also support hormone and enzyme production and support the metabolic, immune, and circulatory systems.

Most Americans get their protein from meat and dairy products.  If you eat meat and dairy products, be sure to choose low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and lean meats such as chicken and turkey over beef.  This reduces saturated fat intake, which lowers bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.  In addition to meat and dairy, however, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as tofu and beans can serve as excellent sources of protein and are naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

Healthy fats: Fats provide energy and are vital for building and maintaining cell membranes and producing important hormones.  They slow down the body’s absorption of nutrients so that we can go longer without feeling hungry.  They are also carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Try to reduce your saturated fat intake and increase your intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats by eating less animal fats—butter, cream, and fatty meats—and eating more olive oil, non-hydrogenated (expeller pressed) vegetable oil spreads such as Earth Balance, sesame oil, and natural nut butters.  Other healthy fat sources include avocados, almonds, and flaxseeds.

Here are a few more tips to establishing and maintaining a healthy diet.

Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels, body function, and a healthy body weight.

Limit your alcohol intake. Most women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.  Although a single glass of red wine provides some cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits, most other alcohols such as beer and liquor are detrimental to our health and contain “empty” calories.

Limit your intake of sugars, particularly refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is highly caloric and does not contain much nutritional value.  It can contribute to tooth decay and high cholesterol and causes a sharp spike in energy levels in contrast to the prolonged energy levels we can obtain by consuming whole grains.

If you are trying to lose weight, don’t starve yourself. When you restrict calories suddenly, your body goes into “starvation” mode and will halt your metabolism, making it very difficult to lose weight.  Instead, eat several small meals per day to keep your metabolism functioning at maximum speed.

At each meal, try to include a complex carbohydrate—a fruit, vegetable, or whole grain—and a low-fat protein. This will provide your body with the most energy while consuming calories sensibly.

Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast supports a healthy body weight, sustained energy levels throughout the day, and an active mind.

There are lots of great resources for eating healthfully.  Here are a few helpful links:

Health Magazine

Cooking Light

5 Safe Sun Tips

Whether you’re too busy working or want to get that bronze glow, it’s easy to forget about protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Before you head outside, however, it’s important to remember that skin cancers—including melanoma—are among the most common forms of cancer in the United States, are damaging and can be deadly to the body, and are costly to treat. Melanoma, for example, is the most common form of cancer in young adults ages 25 to 29 years old and the rate of diagnosis is actually increasing, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The best way to combat skin cancer is to prevent it by exercising good judgment during exposure to sunlight. Here are a few great ways to keep your skin safe in the sun:

  1. Apply sunscreen. Always apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of at least 30, 30 minutes before going outside. Use sunscreen that is labeled “broad-spectrum” because it provides protection from both forms of ultraviolet rays, A and B. Also be sure to use water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen so you won’t sweat or wash off your sun protection. Be generous when applying sunscreen: most people don’t use enough. If the oils bother you, there are many oil-free varieties of sunscreen that work equally well.
  2. Reapply sunscreen. Usually, one application of sunscreen is not enough. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or if you have been swimming or sweating.
  3. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses ( are great ways to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Some outdoor brands are now making lightweight shirts, pants, and hats, built-in SPF, as sun rays can penetrate most clothing.
  4. Avoid 10AM-4PM. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10AM and 4PM in most areas. If you can avoid it, stay inside on really sunny days during these hours. If you exercise outside, take your jog or walk early in the morning or in the early evening when the sun’s rays are weaker.
  5. Check your skin. Check your skin every year for changes and growths. If you notice anything unusual, seek medical attention immediately.

This summer, make a resolution to be safe about your sun exposure. Buy some new sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and wear lightweight long sleeve shirts, long pants, and hats when the sun is very strong. Need some new sunglasses? Check out Safety Girl’s awesome collection of sunglasses with great UV protection. Remember, even though summer tans may be sexy, your skin’s health over your entire lifetime is much more important!

National Women’s Health Week

Women all over the country are celebrating National Women’s Health Week, May 13-19, 2012. This weeklong observance begins every year on Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May), and is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health with the goal of uniting communities, businesses, government, and health organizations in an effort to promote better women’s health.

“It’s Your Time” is the theme for this year’s National Women’s Health Week, and this year’s events place special emphasis on encouraging women to take the time to lower their risk of developing lifestyle related diseases by improving physical and mental wellness. This year, the Office of Women’s Health is placing special emphasis on the following five health tips:

  1. Get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense physical activity, or a combination of these two activity levels every week
  2. Eat a nutritious diet
  3. Visit a doctor to receive regular checkups and preventative tests
  4. Avoid unhealthy behaviors (including smoking, drinking, and even driving without a seatbelt)
  5. Maintain good mental health (including managing stress effectively and getting enough rest every night)

Women’s health events vary by state, city, and community, but include races, fitness classes, fun runs and walks, health fairs, luncheons, classes, and lectures. On the national level, women are encouraged to take the National Woman Challenge and the National Woman’s Checkup Day Pledge. In conjunction with President Obama’s fitness challenges, the National Women’s Health Week Woman Challenge encourages women to commit to almost daily routine physical activity for six weeks. The National Women’s Checkup Day Pledge, motivates women to schedule regular check ups and preventative screenings and schedule at least one health screening this month.

Although women’s health is a popular topic, women’s health day is an important week to bring women’s health to the forefront of our minds. As women, we are often caregivers for loved ones—including parents, spouses, and children—or work in a care giving or service field. With our focus often on the health and well being of others, it’s easy for us to put our own health at a lower priority level. This week, or this month, make a resolution to think about your own health and wellness a little more by taking important steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

The Emergency Bridal Kit

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner, and for many women, this means that wedding season is also upon us! If you’re going to be a bride or bridesmaid this season, don’t let the big day arrive without one of Safety Girl’s awesome Emergency Bridal Kits. These kits include everything a woman needs to look beautiful and stay happy on that special day. The Safety Girl Bridal Kits aren’t just for brides, either, they make great wedding shower or bridal party gifts, too!

The Safety Girl Bridal Kit includes everything a woman needs to look beautiful on her big day. A bride’s hairstyle can be everything, and to fix any flaws that may happen in transit from the beauty shop to the wedding hall, the kit includes bobby pins and TreSemme Hairspray. To fix any broken nails or manicure, the kit also includes a nail file and clear nail polish. In case of any dress imperfections, you’ll also find a sewing kit, lint remover, wrinkle remover spray, and even super glue in the kit, too. All brides and bridesmaids worry about not feeling well on the day of the wedding, but Safety Girl has your needs covered with Motrin, Rolaids, and Imodium.

In creating the Safety Girl Emergency Bridal Kit, we didn’t forget any of the little necessities, either. The Safety Girl Bridal Kit includes tissues to wipe away those tears of joy, deodorant to keep you dry and smelling fresh, Shout Wipes and facial cleansing cloths to keep you clean, and Wrigley’s gum to keep your breath fresh. Even if you loose an earring, the Safety Girl Emergency Bridal Kit includes two faux white pear earrings.

All these necessities fit into a stylish white vanity bag for just $19.99. Order your Safety Girl Bridal Kit for your brides and bridesmaids today!