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Women in Today's Labor Force. Physical Fitness and Safety - What Are the Results for Women?

NIOSH 1980 Jun:11-14
Studies on safety performance of telephone line installer repair technicians, cable splicing technicians, and outside craft technicians were reported, with emphasis on women and persons of small stature. In the first study, the performance in the following tasks was measured: pole testing, throwing the rope around the pole and pulling to determine if the rope will hold one's weight, climbing stepped poles, placing a 28 foot ladder on strand one running between telephone poles, placing a 28 foot ladder on a building, climbing unstepped poles with a safety belt, and climbing unstepped poles and removing a drip wire. The test procedures on the basis of job analysis included a battery of strength and reaction time tests. The most valid measures for predicting safety of performance were the dynamic arm strength and reaction time and were equally valid for males and females. A course was designed for the benefit of small statured workers included ladder handling, introduction to pole climbing, climbing fundamentals, basic climbing skills, development of climbing skills, and avoidance of climbing hazards. A study of accident data was carried out in six locations and included 78 females and 132 males. The results indicated that males outperformed females on all physical measures except the extent of flexibility test. A three test battery was implemented based on performance criterion. For the affirmative action purposes a low passing score was set to pass approximately 95 percent of the male and 50 percent of the female job candidates. The author states that although the physical tests could be predictive of safe behavior, there are many needs to be addressed to determine which abilities are necessary for safe performance in a given job.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-79-0009; Occupational-accidents; Sex-factors; Occupational-hazards; Workplace-studies; Physiological-testing; Safety-programs; Communication-workers; Training;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 80-139
Priority Area
Special Populations; Work Environment and Workforce;
Source Name
Occupational Safety and Health Symposia 1979, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 80-139