There is a legal requirement to assess the risks specific to new and expectant mothers. Generic risk assessments should be drawn up by Schools and Directorates to identify the risks specific to women of childbearing age which arise from the activities taking place. The risk assessment will evaluate the extent of these risks and outline the precautions required to control the risks effectively.
The majority of health and safety issues concerning new and expectant mothers should already be addressed by good health and safety management procedures and practices, such as control of hazardous substances (COSHH). Ideally, controls should eliminate risks to new and expectant mothers and their babies.
Information provided in risk assessments and other arrangements must be clearly communicated to management, staff and students. Records of generic and individual risk assessments and the provision of any instruction and training must be kept for at least three years.
When a woman advises her School or Directorate that she is pregnant, is breast feeding or has given birth in the previous six months, an individual risk assessment must be made of the work carried out by that person. This should take account of any factors specific to the individual. The woman and her Line Manager or Supervisor should review her work activities as the pregnancy progresses in order to take account of any risks which may arise at different stages, e.g. PPE may no longer be suitable in later stages. The line manager should agree individual arrangements as required, such as change of work pattern, schedule of breaks, etc.