A new petition has been created to tackle the lack of sanitary disposal waste facilities within the engineering and construction industries.
The current Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations do not include sanitary bins, leading to calls for national change within the construction sector and their attitude towards menstrual cycles.
Charity Rose, an Assistant Engineering Geologist, created the petition to help make engineering and construction careers more inclusive. Lucy Lettice, Co-Founder of &SISTERS, the UK's largest bleach-free & gynaecologically-approved period care brand, says the petition highlights the gap in workplaces which have been traditionally built for men."Sanitary disposal facilities should be a mandatory requirement in all toilets. It is unacceptable that individuals are having to find alternative ways to dispose of their period products during the middle of their working day. Why do we consider toilet rolls and bandages necessary but not period care?
"People who menstruate have their cycles typically once a month, lasting between three and eight days. During this time, without the correct disposal facilities, individuals may have to travel off-site, place the waste in their own bag, or even take time off work to deal with their menstruation.”
Women make up 16.5% of all engineers in the UK, this is the lowest proportion in Europe. The construction industry needs 35,000 new workers a year to tackle the skills shortage, in a sector where women were expected to share toilets with men on one in five construction sites in 2018.
Lucy added: “The current CDM regulations do not specifically include sanitary waste disposal facilities, only suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences. This has become a loophole where women are being disproportionately negatively impacted. Women are currently a minority in the industry and they need allies in order to support and encourage them to stay working in the industry.
“Since the 1992 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations do not cover all construction sites, people who menstruate are not currently protected in the workplace. We cannot trust in employers to “do the right thing” and must include the mandatory installment of sanitary waste disposal facilities at all construction sites.”
To sign the petition in support, please visit : https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/620550.