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Expectant Mothers Risk Assessments

The last thing that a pregnant woman needs is concern that the health of either herself or her future baby could be made worse by working.

The law requires employers to take account of the special position of new and expectant mothers and to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.  This should take into account any risks where the new or expectant mother may be exposed to any process, working conditions, or physical, chemical, or biological agents which might adversely affect the health and safety of her or her baby.  Risk assessments should include consideration of the risks for those who are pregnant, those who have given birth or miscarried in the last six months, or those who are breast-feeding.

Our expert consultants will:

  • identify all the possible hazards
  • make sure that exposure to hazards is adequately controlled
  • put in place appropriate control measures which are properly maintained
  • monitor exposure in the workplace and carry out health surveillance, if required
  • provide information, instruction and training to new or expectant mothers.

The kind of risks that will be included are:

  • Continuous Standing
  • Continuous Sitting
  • Any work in confined spaces
  • Manual Handling
  • Any shocks or vibrations
  • Ionising radiation
  • High pressure
  • Chemical or biological agents
  • Stress
  • Excess Travelling
  • Passive smoking
  • Heat or cold
  • Work at heights
  • Work related violence

If that risk assessment has identified any risks to the health and safety of a new or expectant mother, or that of her baby, and these risks cannot be avoided by taking any necessary preventive and protective measures under other relevant health and safety legislation, then employers must take action to remove, reduce or control the risk.

If the risk cannot be removed, reduced or controlled to a safe level, employers must take the following actions:

  • Action 1 – Temporarily adjust her working conditions and/or hours of work; or if that is not possible
  • Action 2 – Offer her suitable alternative work (at the same rate of pay) if available, or if that is not feasible;
  • Action 3 – Suspend her from work on paid leave for as long as necessary, to protect her health and safety, and that of her child.

In addition the assessment should look at the possible risks of any women who are working alone who may require medical attention and ensure that any protective equipment is designed specifically to meet the needs of pregnant women.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business remain safe and compliant, or to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.

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