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Know which six health issues are unique to pregnant and breastfeeding employees so you can protect their health

by , 10 June 2013
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), you must protect the health of pregnant workers, their unborn foetus and a breastfeeding baby. Read on to discover the health issues that are unique to pregnant and breastfeeding employees so you can protect their health.

The OHSA stipulates that you must provide a safe work environment for your pregnant or breastfeeding employees.

To do that, you need to recognise health issues unique to pregnancy or breastfeeding and implement health and safety measures to prevent injuries to your employees.

But do you know what these unique health issues are?

Six health issues unique to pregnancy and breastfeeding

  1. Morning sickness. This will affect shift workers, in particular.
  2. Breastfeeding breaks. You must give breastfeeding employees two 30-minute breaks each day. But, 'you should only allow your employees to bring their babies to work if you have dedicated childcare facilities for them,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.
  3. Physical hazards. These include vibration, heat, noise and radiation (ionising & non-ionising).
  4. An increased frequency of toilet breaks.
  5. Development of backache and varicose veins, particularly in employees who stand for long periods.
  6. Ergonomic hazards. This includes physically strenuous work, prolonged standing, sitting and confined spaces.

Remember, different women react differently to the demands of pregnancy or breastfeeding. You mustn't have a single 'fit-for-all' approach to these employees, but rather develop a tailor-made approach for each case.

By knowing which health issues are unique to your pregnant or breastfeeding employees, you'll be able to implement policies and procedures that protect their health and reduces the health and safety risks they may face in your workplace.

Turn to chapter P06 of your Health and Safety Advisor and check out the 13 steps to ensure a safe environment for all pregnant
and breastfeeding employees


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