New & expectant mothers model risk assessment

An outline of the potential health and safety issues for new and expectant mothers.

 

Title of activity: Work involving new and expectant mothers
Location(s) of work:  
New/expectant mothers name:  
Expected due date (expectant mothers):  

 

 

HAZARD IDENTIFICATION:

The table below sets out some hazards which may be relevant to new or expectant mothers working at the University. When carrying out a risk assessment for a particular individual, identify all the hazards to the new or expectant mother and delete all of the hazards which are not relevant. Evaluate the hazards involved in the work activities and note whether the risk is low / medium / high. Describe the control measures which are required and specify these in the table (the general information on control measures noted in the table is for guidance only) and identify any further measures required. You will also need to take into account factors relevant to the individual, and the risk assessment(s) will require to be reviewed and monitored on a regular basis as the pregnancy progresses.

Specific hazards (such as manual handling operations, hazardous substances, biological agents, display screen equipment) should be assessed on a separate risk assessment form and cross-referenced with this document.

Model specific assessment forms are available at the University's Risk Assessment Checklist.

 

 

HAZARD(s) RISK L / M / H CONTROL MEASURES (i.e.alternative work methods/mechanical aids/engineering controls, etc.)
Lifting of heavy loads    
  1. Undertaking lifting operations that present a risk of injury must be avoided.
  2. If lifting operations can not be avoided they must be fully assessed and regularly reviewed and monitored as the pregnancy progresses.
Display Screen Equipment (postural problems, eyestrains, headaches)    
  1. A DSE assessment should already be in place. This must be re-assessed and thereafter regularly reviewed as the pregnancy progresses.
  2. Sitting for long periods of time should be avoided - more frequent breaks from the computer should be considered.
  3. Ensure adequate space to move around the workstation especially as the pregnancy develop.
Continuous sitting / standing  
  1. Standing or sitting for long periods of time should be avoided especially as the pregnancy progresses.
  2. Change the work pattern where appropriate to more frequently alternate periods of standing / sitting.
Lone / Out of Hours (LOOH) Working  
  1. LOOH should be minimised or avoided where feasible.
  2. Where LOOH work can not be avoided, a specific risk assessment should already be in place. This must be re-assessed and thereafter regularly reviewed as the pregnancy progresses. 
  3. Changes to hours of work may need to be considered.
Work with Hazardous Substances, including:- Carcinogens (R40/ R45/ R49), Teratogens (R61/ R63/ R64/ R68), Mutagens (R46), Mercury or mercury derivatives, Lead or lead derivatives, Antimitotic (cytotoxic) drugs, Pesticides, etc      
  1. A COSHH assessment should already be in place. This must be re-assessed immediately and thereafter regularly reviewed as the pregnancy progresses.
  2. Refer to relevant risk phrases.
  3. Work with substances which may present a significant risk to the mother and/or child must be avoided - remove the mother from specific high risk activities as appropriate.
  4. Contact the Occupational Health Unit for general advice if necessary.
Work with biological materials including micro-organisms / GM work    
  1. An assessment of the work with biological agents should already be in place. This should be re-assessed immediately and regularly reviewed as the pregnancy develops to consider pathogens which present an additional risk in pregnancy.
  2. Consider risks associated with chemo-therapeutic agents used to treat laboratory acquired infections.
  3. Consider vaccination issues and discuss with the Occupational Health Unit if necessary.
  4. Contact the local Biological Safety Officer / University Biological Safety Adviser for specific advice if necessary.
  5. Contact the Occupational Health Unit for general advice if necessary.
Work with ionising radiation  
  1. An assessment of work with ionising radiation should already be in place and this should be re-assessed.
  2. Contact the local Radiation Protection Supervisor / University Radiation Protection Adviser for specific advice if necessary.
  3. Contact the Occupational Health Unit for general advice if necessary.
Travel    
  1. Travel may require to be minimised where appropriate.
  2. Foreign travel may require doctor's certification.
  3. Foreign travel after 36 weeks is generally restricted - check with travel agent and/or travel insurance policy.
  4. Consider vaccination issues and discuss with the Occupational Health Unit if necessary.
Discomfort / Stress / Fatigue    
  1. Exposure to nauseating smells such as cooking or chemical odours may increase 'morning sickness'. Avoid or minimise exposure where feasible.
  2. Consider more frequent / longer rest breaks where appropriate.
  3. Minimise exposure to very high / low temperatures.
  4. As the expectant mother increases in size consideration will require to be given to a. work in awkward or confined areas b. clothing - uniforms, PPE, etc. c. mobility issues such as emergency evacuation in the later stages of pregnancy.
  5. Identify suitable private location for new / expectant mothers to rest and / or express milk.
  6. Changes to hours of work may need to be considered in certain circumstances.
  7. Ensure adequate maternity cover arrangements are in place.

 

 

Additional Information: Identify any additional relevant information to the activity, including supervision, training requirements, special emergency procedures, requirement for health surveillance, etc.

A Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) will be required for an expectant mother in a later stage of pregnancy who is experiencing mobility difficulties and would need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation.

A specific risk assessment must be completed in co-operation with an expectant mother.

When carrying out this risk assessment any medical condition and information provided by an expectant mother and any personal aspects of pregnancy such as morning sickness, frequent visits to toilet, tiredness must be taken into account.

The risk assessment should be reviewed at regular intervals and appropriate control measures implemented.

It is recommended that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Guide for new and expectant mothers who work should be brought to the attention of new or expectant mothers.

 

 

Assessment carried out by:
Name: Date: Review Date: