Pregnancy and Working Guidelines
Is there is any information/guidelines out there on keeping pregnant women safe at work apart fro the Covid information I have found? I can't see anything on the Worksafe website at all.
Thanks in adavnce,
That would all depend on the role they are doing and the risks they are exposed to.
Yes off course I should have mentioned that! The lady is employed as a machine Operator in a food manufacturing environment. Lifting and standing for long periods of time is one of my concerns...
The UK's HSE has a FAQ which provides a list of points to consider as part of your risk assessment specific to your pregnant workers -
Just keep in mind that this is based on UK law and so some of the requirements might not apply in NZ, such as leave obligations.
Seems to be taken from the EU directive for safe working conditions for expecting mothers (if you want more detail but don't mind reading what a lawyer thinks is "normal english") -
and their guidelines for it
Prof Joanne Crawford
Agree with Matt, have a look at the HSE guidance website as it does give some ideas for risk assessment approaches
. The requirements in the UK came from the Pregnant Workers Directive so has been implemented under UK law, not NZ law.
Prof Joanne Crawford
Pregnant women are pretty robust critters. You'll likely find tiredness the biggest issue (other than pregnancy related issues) so keep the lines of communication open and adjust work processes accordingly.
As pregnancy progresses, hormones to prepare the body for childbirth increases flexibility, which in turn increases the risk of manual handling injuries.
Frequent breaks and encouraging her to literally put her feet up is helpful.
Consider anti-fatigue matting and take a look to ensure her footwear is up to task i.e. supportive, stable, and shock-absorbant.
Hydration and diet are more important than ever as are the psychosocial aspects of the workplace.
Indeed, as Andrew pointed out, keeping the lines of communication open is very important.
Her midwife may be assistive in assessing any adjustments to work processes or work hours.
There’s an obvious overlap between human rights, health and safety and employment legislation. The NZ Human Rights Commission has a slightly older document which also contains some useful information around pregnancy and H&S in the workplace under the “Health and Safety Issues” section.
As already touched on above communication and consultation is key. We would carry out a risk assessment with the employee and go through the tasks they carry out day to day. If the need arises we would seek the workers permission to involve a medical professional to provide advice.
It might also be worth while to reemphasis the lines of reporting and communication for reporting general discomfort, incidents or accidents.
And lastly, there are also two useful provisions in the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 that state where an employee is unable to perform her work safely, the employer can nominate a start date for parental leave or may temporarily transfer her from one job to another.
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