The definition of a new or expectant mother is someone who is pregnant, has given birth within the previous six months, or is breastfeeding. Employers need to be aware that working conditions normally considered acceptable may no longer be safe for women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
The health and safety of new and expectant mothers at work is covered by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW). Pregnancy usually goes undetected for the first 4-6 weeks therefore it is important for employers to identify hazards and risks for all female employees of childbearing age and they should also take into account that some hazards can present more of a risk at different stages of the pregnancy.
Once written confirmation of the pregnancy is received, it is then the duty of the employer to:
- Identify any risks
- Control the risks, offer alternative working arrangements or suspend from work if the risk cannot be avoided
- Provide appropriate facilities such as a rest room, milk storage, close proximity to toilet
- Re-assess as necessary throughout pregnancy or in the event of changes
It can be time-consuming and confusing for employers to ensure all the appropriate assessments and precautions have been taken involving pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace. Universal Safety Solutions can relieve the pressure by conducting a full assessment and advising on any actions that need to be taken to ensure all the regulations are met and therefore maintain the safety of your employees.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment for your New & Expectant Mothers risk assessment.