EMPLOYERS ARE more likely to send men than women on potentially dangerous site work , according to new research from the Water Engineering & Development Centre at Loughborough University.
'We have had reports of women engineers not being allowed on site, due to the dangers of working alone in remote locations, ' explained Brian Reed, WEDC research assistant.
'But this leads to the conclusion that if women are not allowed to work alone in the field, why subject men to that risk?'
WEDC discovered the problem as it researched guidelines to ensure infrastructure was designed and constructed to meet the needs of both sexes.
WEDC also found that employers fail to appreciate the cultural issues their employees may face when working abroad.
'More often than not it is women who maintain water and wastewater supply infrastructure in India, ' said Reed, adding that they consequently had indepth knowledge of these systems.
'In such cases you need to send women to site so they can speak to other women about infrastructure issues. For example, it is unlikely a British male engineer could speak to an Indian woman about menstruation and subsequent treatment problems of dealing with sanitary products in wastewater, ' he added.
WEDC's guidelines are expected to be available by the end of the year.