Guidance and advice for staff who are new or expectant mothers.
There is a legal requirement to assess the risks specific to new and expectant mothers.
The University has a robust system in place to ensure Schools carry out risk assessments and these assessments should already highlight any risks (biological, chemical or physical) specific to women of child bearing age and to pregnant women. The majority of health and safety issues relating to women of child bearing age and to pregnant women should therefore already be addressed by good health and safety management procedures.
When a woman notifies her School that she is pregnant, or has given birth in the previous six months, the School must review all the applicable risk assessments to ensure that she is not at any additional risk, taking into account factors specific to the individual.
The responsibility to ensure this is carried out is noted within the University's Maternity Policy (revised 6 April 2011), available from Human Resources.
This Policy states:-
Heads of School or Support Departments, or their nominated deputies, have responsibilities for protecting the health and safety of their employees, including those who are pregnant, those who have given birth within the previous six months and those who are breastfeeding. Once a line manager has been informed that one of their employees is pregnant, they should arrange for a ‘Pregnant Worker Risk Assessment’ to be undertaken, and also for any reasonable adjustments to be made as appropriate. This is particularly important where there are known personal or work area risks. The process for carrying out these assessments, together with the appropriate form, can be found on the University’s Health & Safety website. The Occupational Health Unit (OHU) can provide advice and guidance on health and safety implications relating to the employee and her job.
Section 5.1 Early Notification of Pregnancy including Risk Assessment Information
University Maternity Policy
The Health and Safety Department provide tools to assist Schools, etc to carry out risk assessments of work activities on our website detailing the University's system of interlinking (template) self-inspection checklists, generic risk assessments and (model) risk assessment forms.
The University has put together a model risk assessment form for new and expectant mothers which can be modified by Schools and individuals as appropriate. Individuals and/ or Schools may of course prefer to use an alternative risk assessment form if they prefer.
General health and safety guidance for staff whilst pregnant is also available.
This article was published on Jan 6, 2011