The Association of General Contractors of America (AGC) and construction technology provider Autodesk have launched a grant programme to provide working at height PPE for female construction workers.
The grant program, which is open to AGC members, will fund the purchase of around 300 fall protection harnesses sized specifically for women.
In a recent statement, the trade association highlighted the issue of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to safety. It said that ill-fitting PPE ranges from uncomfortable to downright dangerous and that, while a loose-fitting fall protection harness may still catch a woman when scaffolding collapses, it can also cause serious injuries to her neck and shoulders in the process.
Allison Scott, head of construction thought leadership at Autodesk, said, “The construction industry agrees safety must be everyone’s priority, but we also need to recognize when safety needs aren’t being met for some workers.
“Construction is – and will continue to be – a people-driven business. The industry needs more people, and women must feel safe and welcome on jobsites if we want them to choose a career in construction. Ultimately, when we address safety for women, we improve safety for everyone.”
According to the AGC, women represent one of the largest demographics with the potential to fill the industry’s labour gap. The association said that in order to attract and retain more women, jobsites need to recognize and meet the needs of a gender-diverse workforce, including properly sized and comfortable PPE.
Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the AGC, said, “One of the most effective ways to successfully recruit more women into high-paying construction careers is to make sure firms are able to provide safety equipment that makes them even safer.”
AGC members can apply for the grants up until January 10, 2020. Winners will be informed before the AGC’s annual convention in March 2020 in the United States.