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Pregnancy Check List

(during pregnancy, a further assessment should be completed every 3 months)
Movement and posture - Nature of Risk
A variety of factors linked to pace of work, rest breaks, work equipment and the work area can be involved. Hormonal changes during and shortly after pregnancy affect ligaments and can increase chances of injury. Postural problems may get worse as pregnancy advances. Standing in one position for long periods can cause dizziness, faintness, fatigue. It can also increase chances of premature birth or miscarriage. Sitting for long periods increases risk of thrombosis. Backache is also associated with long periods of standing or sitting. Confined space may be a problem particularly in the latter stages of pregnancy.

Does the woman have to stand for periods of, for example, more than two-three hours without a break?

Does she have to sit for periods of more than two-three hours?

Can the equipment and workstation be adjusted to fit the worker?

Does the job involve awkward twisting or stretching?

Are there space restrictions?

Manual handling - Nature of Risk
The hormonal changes in pregnancy Increase risk of manual handling injuries. Postural problems can also increase risks as pregnancy progresses. There can be risks for women who have recently given birth. Breast-feeding mothers may have problems because of increased breast size and sensitivity.

Does the job involve twisting, stooping or stretching to lift objects?

Does the job involve rapid repetitive lifting (even of lighter objects)?

Does the job involve lifting objects that are difficult to grasp or are awkward to hold?

Protective equipment and uniforms.
Protective clothing or other types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not generally designed for use by pregnant women. Physical changes around pregnancy may make it too uncomfortable to wear, or may mean that it no longer provides the intended protection. Uniforms may also cause a problem, particularly as the pregnancy progresses.

f the woman has to wear protective aprons/overalls etc, are they provided in suitable sizes?

If uniforms are obligatory are they provided in maternity sizes?

Are the materials used comfortable for all pregnant women to wear?

Hazardous substances-infection risks and chemicals
Are there any infection risks in the work? For example: l Embalming/preparing bodies for funeral workers l Clearing up spilled body fluids/disposing of used syringes for cleaners l Work with raw meat such as raw lamb If so are hygiene precautions adequate? Are any chemicals at work known to be a risk? Are pregnant women kept away from jobs that could increase exposure, for example, unloading dry-cleaning machines or clearing button traps?

If the woman has to wear protective aprons/overalls etc, are they provided in suitable sizes?

If uniforms are obligatory are they provided in maternity sizes?

Are the materials used comfortable for all pregnant women to wear?

Working time
Long hours, and unsocial shift work can affect the health of pregnant women and can disrupt breast-feeding.  Recent research has shown a link between night work and miscarriage.

Is the women expected to work long hours/overtime?

 

Does she have some flexibility or choice over her working hours?

 

Does the work involve very early starts or late finishes?

 

Does the job involve night work between the hours of for example, 11pm to 7am?

Work related stress
New and expectant mothers can be vulnerable to stress because of hormonal psychological and physiological changes around pregnancy.  Additional stress may occur if the woman has reason to be anxious about her pregnancy.

Are there tasks which are known to be stressful, for example, dealing with irate customers?

 

Are colleagues and supervisors supportive towards the pregnant worker?

 

Is the woman aware of what to do if she feels she is being bullied or victimised?

Extremes of cold or heat
Pregnant women are less able to tolerate heat or extreme cold.

Does the work involve exposure to temperatures that are uncomfortably cold (below 16c) or hot (above 27c)?

 

If protective clothing is provided against the cold is it suitable for the pregnant worker?

 

Is the worker exposed to cold draughts even where the average temperature is acceptable?

 

Are there arrangements for frequent breaks and access to hot/cold drinks?

Work at heights
Because of the risk of fainting and high blood pressure, it is hazardous for pregnant women to work at height.

 

Does the work involve a lot of climbing up and down steps or ladders?

 

If a mobile work platform is used to access higher levels, is there enough room for a pregnant worker to use it safely?

Work-related violence
Violence and the fear of violence can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and problems with breast-feeding.

Is the job one which is perceived to have a high risk of violence (for example, security work, single staffing in a petrol filling station)?

 

Is there always support at hand to help staff who may be threatened or abused by customers?

 

Are managers and supervisors aware of the extra risk for pregnant women?

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