17 Nov 2016
What are the health and safety risks associated with pregnant and breastfeeding workers in the workplace? Stephen Thomas, Health & Safety Consultant at Croner, considers what action employers need to take when informed that an employee is pregnant or has recently given birth. Rest facilities All employers are required to provide suitable rest facilities at their premises for pregnant employees and those who are breastfeeding. The question of suitability will vary depending on the size and resources of the employer, but at the very least, an employer should provide a private area, away from other employees, where the pregnant or breastfeeding employee can put her feet up. Facilities for storing expressed breast milk should also be provided where possible. Risks to pregnant employees Particular risks to pregnant employees or to employees who have recently given birth include:
- hazardous chemical or biological agents
- heavy lifting
- extremes of noise and pressure
- excessive travelling
- air travel
- extremes of temperature
- mental or physical fatigue.
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