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Revealed: Two dangerous health and safety hazards that affect pregnant and breastfeeding employees and how to eliminate them

by , 30 April 2014
There are two serious risk factors that pose a risk to the health and safety of your pregnant and breast feeding employees. You need to identify these as part of the risk assessment programme and eliminate them. If you don't, you'll face penalties and criminal prosecution. Continue reading to find out about these hazards and discover how to eliminate them so you can protect your employees.

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Here are the two ergonomic hazards that affect pregnant and breastfeeding employees and what you can do about them

Ergonomic hazard #1: Prolonged sitting and standing

What is the risk? Sitting or standing for long periods during pregnancy can have serious health consequences.

These include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, premature labour and even miscarriage.

How can you avoid or eliminate the risk? Make sure work stations are adjustable to allow for necessary changes in posture.

In addition to this:

  • Give pregnant employees who sit for long periods a proper chair with lumbar support rest to prevent lower back pain.
  • Give pregnant employees who work in a stationary position frequent rest breaks.
  • Encourage mobility during breaks to help prevent swelling of the ankles and improve blood circulation.

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Ergonomic hazard #2: Physically strenuous work

What is the risk? Physically strenuous work increases the risk of injury to employees when pregnant or after the birth of a child.

How can you avoid or eliminate the risk? Ensure pregnant employees don't do any heavy physical exertion, including lifting or handling heavy loads, from early pregnancy onwards.

Important: You have a legal duty to protect the health of your pregnant or breastfeeding employees. Now that we've told you about the ergonomic hazards, make sure you eliminate them to protect employees.



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