Safeguarding pregnant workers

blog-publish-date

17 Nov 2016

blog-read-duration

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
  • radiation
  • excessive travelling
  • air travel
  • extremes of temperature
  • mental or physical fatigue.
How to assess the risks Any risk assessment must specifically consider the risks mentioned previously with reference to new or expectant mothers and their babies, whether or not the particular job is carried out by a woman. Many of these risk depend on the age of the foetus and whether the woman is pregnant or has given birth. How to deal with the risks If there is found to be a risk the employer should alter the employees’ working conditions or hours of work. If that is not reasonable or would not avoid the risk, the employer must offer suitable alternative work. If that is not available, the employer must suspend the employee. A woman with normal working hours who is suspended on maternity grounds should receive her usual week’s pay.

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • Grievance Policy Guide & Template

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Grievance Policy Guide & Template

    Read more
  • Sickness Absence Policy & Procedure

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sickness Absence Policy & Procedure

    Read more
  • Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Case Law Update - Discrimination Canc...

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that individuals who have been di...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    EHRC Release anti-harassment guidance

    New guidance has been released for employers on preventing harassment at work. T...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    New Minimum Wage Rates Announced

    2020 is set to be one of the busiest years yet for employment law developments.T...

    Read more
  • Print Inc.

    CASE STUDY

    Print Inc.

    Print Inc. are an embroidery and print company based in Carmarthenshire, South W...

    Read more
  • Scotgold Resources

    CASE STUDY

    Scotgold Resources

    A lot of organisations believe they’re sitting on a gold mine. Scotgold resource

    Read more
  • Wacoal

    CASE STUDY

    Wacoal

    “Overall, we’re very happy with the service Croner provides and we’d recommend i

    Read more

Do you have any questions?

Get a free callback from one of our regional experts today