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Safety at Work!

Safety in Women's Work Environments: This idea targets women who work in unfair/unsafe labor conditions. While I believe that street safety is just as important, in this post I will focus specifically on safety within the workplace. In order to support themselves and their families, many women are forced to work in unsafe environments when no other options are available. Concerns: Workplaces do not follow proper safety regulations/standards, thus causing women to be at a high risk at work. Many times alarm/warning systems are not implemented, inspections of workplace condition are nonexistent, and/or there is exposure to toxic chemicals - these are just a few of many issues present!

Photo of Nicole Santarsiero
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As important as it is to look at women's safety on the streets, we must not overlook the hazardous workplaces that many women witness and experience daily. 

Many workplaces, specifically factories, do not follow proper safety regulations. People around the world, especially women have no other choice but to work for businesses that are extremely detrimental to their health and safety.   

The first step would be to educate women on safety issues, so that they are aware and have knowledge of the present concerns. This can be done with a series of pictures depicting common safety precautions at work. These will help educate women on the dangers they should be looking out for and avoiding.

The next step would be to identify key players (factories) that exemplify unsafe working environments. Once businesses are identified, they must be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest risk situation).

Once rated, the individual risks must be properly assessed and controled. If women are working with hazardous chemicals, then safety gear such as gloves, masks, and goggles should be provided to the employees. Alarms and escape routes should also be implemented if not present. 

Depending on the severity/rating of a workplace, women should also be tested by healthcare professionals in order to determine if further intervention is necessary, and also to help track progress.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

The idea would be to help identify and fix this issue by implementing proper safety precautions.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

The need targets women who are exposed to and work in high-risk environments. These women deserve to work in safe conditions, and the solution would be to raise awareness in regards to safety while helping provide protection.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

The women who experience unsafe work environments. The success can be monitored by implementing regular safety inspections, follow-up surveys, and/or health exams.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

Programs and networks like WIEGO who focus on social protection can partner up with local organizations (where the need exists) to help assess areas and enforce safety compliance. In addition to this, medical professionals can also assist with health evaluations.

Where should this idea be implemented?

The idea should first target large factories in urban areas where safety is a concern for a significant population.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Meena Kadri

Very interesting, Nicole! We'd love it if you might consider helping people better grasp how this idea could play out by describing some example scenarios which illustrate user journeys through some of the proposed activities you've outlined. Check this example: where a few simple scenarios were created in an attempt to explain the goodness on the idea. (You can update your post at any time by hitting the Update Entry button up there on the right.) Through doing this we'll be able appreciate your idea through the lens of people in low-income communities.

We also hope you'll join in on discussion on others people's ideas here at OpenIDEO. Your perspectives would certainly enrich our conversations and collaboration...

Photo of Nicole Santarsiero

Thank you, Meena, for commenting on my idea. The link you added is very interesting, thanks for sharing!

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