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Maternity Risk Assessment Template

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11 August 2021

As an employer, you are responsible for providing a safe working environment for staff. This is particularly important for new and expectant mothers.

Every workplace is different, so some will pose more immediate risks than others. However, all workplaces have potentially harmful conditions and processes. If not managed correctly, these can pose a risk to the mother and their child.

One of the key ways to ensure you look after the safety of any pregnant employees is to conduct a risk assessment. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you should include in your assessment and provide you with a free template that you can adapt to your workplace.

What is a maternity risk assessment?

A maternity risk assessment is the same as the standard assessment all employers must carry out. However, this one is specifically looking for risks to pregnant employees.

If your general risk assessment doesn’t adequately cover all the potential issues of maternity, you may wish to create a maternity-specific assessment.

The purpose of this assessment is to identify the risks posed to new and expectant mothers in your workplace. It should also outline ways you can help reduce the harm to them, where possible.

While there isn’t a legal obligation to produce a maternity risk assessment in the UK, there is an obligation to include risk to female employees of childbearing age in your general workplace risk assessment.

What to include in a maternity risk assessment

Your workplace may be higher risk than others, and in some cases, the affected individual may need a role change, or a shift in their duties. There are some key things to look out for in your maternity risk assessment as outlined by acas:

  1. Heavy lifting or carrying.
  2. Long working hours.
  3. Standing or sitting for long periods without suitable breaks.
  4. Being exposed to dangerous substances.
  5. Very high or low temperatures.

Your assessment should address all of the above risks and outline prevention measures. Also, include any hazards that are specific to your workplace. If you’re uncertain what these might be, you can contact one of Croner’s health & safety experts today on 01455 858 132.

Conducting a maternity risk assessment at work

One of the first things you should do when you learn an employee is pregnant is consult your existing risk assessment. This may cover everything, but in most cases, it’s recommended that you perform an individual assessment.

Hold a meeting with the pregnant employee to discuss this and get their feedback. They may be able to provide insight that you are unaware of. Keep the employee in the loop while you conduct your maternity health and safety risk assessment, identifying potential issues, both physical and mental.

Your responsibilities in this matter don’t begin and end with the assessment. One of the major parts of conducting a maternity risk assessment is removing the risks identified. Once you are finished, and have outlined control measures, it’s time to put them in place.

If it’s not possible to change working conditions or hours, you must offer other suitable work for the employee. This must be:

  1. At the same rate of pay.
  2. On terms that don’t treat the employee any less favourably.

COVID-19 advice for pregnant employees

Due to the additional risk created by coronavirus, there are extra precautions in place to protect pregnant employees.

They are currently unable to work beyond 28 weeks pregnant if no other duties are available.

Although they’re at no more risk of contracting the virus than any other non-pregnant person who is in similar health, there is an increased risk of becoming severely ill and of pre-term birth after contracting COVID-19.

You should ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate the risk to staff. Where adjustments to the work environment and role aren’t possible, and alternative work can’t be found, staff should be suspended on paid leave.

Maternity risk assessment form

The maternity health and safety risk assessment form refers to the format and the contents of the assessment itself and what should you include.

If you have an existing risk assessment template for employees, then you should refer to this first. There will be significant overlap between the two. You’ll need to consider areas such as:

  1. DSE.
  2. Slips, trips & falls.
  3. Manual handling.
  4. Work related stress.
  5. Working at height.

The difference between this and the maternity risk assessment form template we’ll be providing here, is that it will also cover post-natal issues and risks relating to pregnancy.

Maternity risk assessment template

The template provided will still need to be adapted to your workplace. It will cover the following:

  1. DSE.
  2. Slips, trips & falls.
  3. Manual handling.
  4. Work related stress.
  5. Working at height.
  6. Welfare.
  7. Fatigue.
  8. Temperature/Humidity.
  9. Access.
  10. Travel Health.

Our maternity risk assessment example document will help you to keep pregnant employees safe and keep you legally compliant.

Download your maternity risk assessment template for free by clicking the button below.

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