Taking into account those who are pregnant, have given birth in the last six months or are breastfeeding, Jackie pointed out the importance of bearing in mind the hormonal and psychological changes which occur during pregnancy.
“There’s going to be different things happening in their body which will affect their physiology, their anatomy – their body’s shape and size. They’re going to have a range of different hormones kicking in which might make them react or act in slightly different ways,” said Jackie.
She added that a risk assessment for a pregnant worker cannot just be done on day one of their pregnancy and left, because as their pregnancy continues, their body changes. It’s imperative that the risk assessment is reviewed regularly, as the risks associated with the work that they do will change over the course of their pregnancy.
Covering the legal aspect, Jackie explained that work regulations require risk assessments to be carried out for new or expectant mothers and nursing mothers, adding that employees can be suspended if their health and safety is at risk.
However, employers aren’t responsible for amending a woman’s hours or working conditions until she has informed them in writing that she’s pregnant.
In the video, Jackie covers the specific hazards and risks associated with pregnant workers, including ergonomic, physical, chemical and biological factors – and how to identify them.
Summarising, she suggests to viewers a timeline and plan of action for carrying out a risk assessment for pregnant workers – from first formal notification of pregnancy through to amending working conditions.
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