Autodesk and AGC to Provide Construction Industry with Custom-Fitting Safety Harnesses for Women
The program comes at a time when 80 percent of construction firms report having a hard time filling the hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce. Women represent approximately 10 percent of the overall construction labor force1, with even lower representation in trades positions, and one of the largest demographics with the potential to fill the gap in labor. To help attract and retain more women in the field, jobsites need to recognize and meet the needs of a gender-diverse workforce, including properly sized and comfortable PPE.
"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. Technology is improving jobsite safety, but it's not a silver bullet," said
Ill-fitting PPE can range from uncomfortable to downright dangerous. For example, a fall protection harness that's too loose may still catch a woman when the scaffolding beneath her collapses, but it could seriously injure her neck or shoulder in the process. This not only affects the injured worker, but her employer as well. The contractor incurs lost time, productivity and – potentially – a costly worker's compensation claim.
"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," said
A top concern of contractors is the safety of their employees, and many are recognizing the shifting landscape in the construction workforce and taking steps toward a more inclusive, injury-free job site. Earlier this year,
The grant program will fund the purchase of approximately 300 fall protection harnesses sized for women. AGC members can apply for the grants until the application window closes on
AGC members can apply for the grant here.
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Allison Masci, Autodesk, email@example.com, (857) 409-6500; Brian Turmail, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), firstname.lastname@example.org, (703) 459-0238