(a) Management Responsibility
Heads of School/Directors are responsible for ensuring that systems are in place to carry out generic risk assessments for activities under their control to protect all potential new and expectant mothers. Staff and students must be informed of high risks from workplace exposures, i.e. low level chemical exposure, exposure to infectious agents or radiation.
Risks to new and expectant mothers should be eliminated, as far as is reasonably practicable, from undergraduate courses, particularly practical classes. Staff and students must be informed of any residual risk concerning pregnancy and/or breast feeding, and be made aware of the importance to notify their line manager that they are pregnant or breast feeding as early as possible.
The University has a duty of care to students on placement and arrangements should be made to ensure suitable controls/measures are provided by placement providers for the duration of the placement.
(b) Line Manager Responsibility
Line Managers and Supervisors have day-to-day responsibility to ensure adequate controls are in place and are used, and for ensuring that individual risk assessments are carried out in conjunction with the expectant mother, and that the appropriate level of confidentiality is maintained.
Once informed of pregnancy, breast feeding or having given birth in the previous six months, a specific risk assessment for the individual should be conducted to take account of individual factors, such as advice provided by the GP, Midwife or other health professional, and appropriate arrangements put in place.
The Line Manager or Supervisor should review work activities with the individual as the pregnancy progresses in order to take account of issues which arise at different stages.
(c) Employee/Student Responsibility
In order to undertake the necessary risk assessment it is essential that staff and students inform their Line Manager/Supervisor/Tutor as early as possible that they are pregnant, have given birth in the previous six months or are breast feeding. This is particularly important if there are known personal or work activity risks. Staff and students may avail of advice from the University Occupational Health Service.
Staff and students who become aware that they are suffering from infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, shingles or rubella, should not return to work or classes until they are recovered and are no longer infectious. Staff bringing visitors, particularly children, into the University should ensure that those known to be suffering from an infectious disease do not attend until recovered.