New and Expectant Mothers
Many women work while they are pregnant and many return to work while they are still breastfeeding. Some hazards in the workplace may affect the health and safety or the new and expectant mothers and their children.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, makes additional provisions and employers must take particular account of risks to new and expectant mothers. The definition of a new or expectant mother is someone who is pregnant, has given birth within the previous six months, or is breastfeeding.
Risks to new and expectant mothers may come from:
- Lifting and carrying of heavy loads
- Standing or sitting for long lengths of time
- Exposure to chemicals
- Exposure to infectious diseases
- Work related stress
- Workstations and posture
- Threats of violence in the workplace.
- Long hours of work
- Excessively noisy and hot workplaces
How do we undertake the risk assessments?
Employers must identify hazards in their workplace that could pose a health or safety risk to new and expectant mothers and take appropriate action to remove or reduce the risk.
The information must be made known to all their female employees of childbearing age, not just those who have informed them they are pregnant. This is particularly important for expectant mothers, as it is possible for the first 4-6 weeks of pregnancy to go undetected.
Once an employee has informed the employer that she is pregnant, a individual risk assessment is required and steps implemented to manage the risk to the employee.
Peritus Health Management can undertake these risk assessments on behalf of the company and support the employee with questions relating to pregnancy and work.
Want to find out more?
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