New & Expectant Mothers
The Pregnancy at Work Regulations which form part of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, place a duty on employers to ensure the workplace does not pose a risk to the health of a pregnant employee or her developing child.
A risk assessment is the basis for deciding if there are articles or substances in the workplace that could impact on both and the measures to be taken to avoid any injury or ill health.
The Institute process for ensuring the workplace does not pose a risk to the health and safety of new and expectant mothers is set out below:-
Pregnant employees or students should inform the Institute of their condition as soon as they are aware that they are pregnant. A staff member can inform their line manager or human resources department and a student can inform their academic lecturer/supervisor or academic head of department.
The Risk Assessment Process
The Institute having been notified that a member of staff or a student is pregnant will: -
In Relation to a Pregnant Employee
Their line manager (e.g. Head of Department) will complete the “New & Expectant Mother Risk Assessment” form. The line manager with the pregnant employee will review the risk assessment results. The line managers with the assistance of the Institute will ensure all necessary control measures are implemented.
In Relation to a Pregnant Student
The academic Head of Department with the support of identified academic supervisors and/or technical staff, will complete the “New & Expectant Mother Risk Assessment “form. The Head of Department and the pregnant student will review the risk assessment results. The Head of Department with the assistance of the Institute will ensure all necessary control measures are implemented.
The “New & Expectant Mother Risk Assessment” Form
The risk assessment form is designed to support managers undertaking the risk assessment by prompting them to answer a number of questions under identified categories of hazard such as A) Physical Agents, B) Chemical Agents, C) Biological Agents, D) Industrial Processes and E) Working conditions etc. When completed and the assessment results reveal a risk, then the employee or student will be informed of the preventive or protective measures that will be taken by the manager with the assistance of the Institute.