The Pregnancy at Work Regulations applies from the time an employee informs you she is pregnant or has recently given birth or is breastfeeding.
Employers have a legal duty for the safety, health, and welfare of their workers. Especially those at higher risk, like pregnant women. Helping manage health and safety will keep you compliant as well as reducing absences.
To ensure the health and safety of expectant mothers, you should ensure that employees let you know as soon as possible that they are pregnant. This will allow you to assess if their work is suitable for the initial stages of the pregnancy.
To help you with this process, we’ve developed this pregnancy risk assessment template. This template form allows you to work through the most common risks to pregnant employees and to plan your control measures.
Read more to find out what a pregnancy risk assessment is, how to use it and why it’s important.
What is a pregnancy risk assessment?
The pregnancy risk assessment looks at hazards surrounding pregnancy.
Once an employer knows an employee is pregnant, they must assess the specific risks from the employment to that employee. If there are risks, you must ensure that you do not expose her to anything that would damage either her health or her developing child.
You assess this by carrying out the pregnancy risk assessment, which aims to identify risks and hazards specific to a pregnant woman. The legislation separates the hazards into three types:
- General Hazards.
- Hazards specific to pregnancy.
- Hazards specific to breastfeeding.
Health and safety legislation prohibits the pregnant employee from engaging in manual lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling of loads, work involving any exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents.
She must not engage in work that involves physical strain such as prolonged periods of sitting, standing, exposure to extreme temperatures, vibration and must not be engaged to do night work if specified by her medical practitioner.
How do you use a pregnancy risk assessment template?
The assessor completing this form will discuss each item with the expectant mother and write down if any of these hazards are present in the work environment, providing details and documenting what corrective measures must be taken.
There are 3 steps of risk assessment to remember. These are:
- Identify the hazards.
- Assess the risks.
- Put control measures in place.
You use the pregnancy-specific template to identify:
- What hazards the pregnant woman is exposed to.
- How frequent and how long the exposure occurs.
Working conditions can also present a risk to mother and child at different pregnancy stages. So, it is reasonable to conduct multiple risk assessments if you see a notable change.
The most common risks from working conditions for new and expectant mothers include:
- Standing or sitting for extended periods.
- Lifting or carrying heavy loads.
- Long working hours.
- Working at height.
- Workstation and posture issues.
- Work-related stress.
If you identify a significant risk
If you identify a significant risk through this process you must take action. If you cannot remove the risk, you should do the following.
- Adjust her working conditions or hours to remove the risk.
- Give her suitable alternative work on the same terms and conditions.
- Suspend your employee on paid leave for as long as necessary to protect the health and safety of her and her child.
Please note that the list above should be followed in order, only moving on to the next if you can’t do the first action.
Get advice for workplace risk assessments with Peninsula
Businesses lose out on thousands of hours and revenue each year because of health and safety issues. You should do all that you can to reduce these absences and disruptions.
Focusing on employee welfare will lead to a positive effect on business productivity and workforce morale. By doing risk assessments, you stay compliant and help tackle any issues.
Peninsula Ireland clients get access to 24/7 HR consultation with our employment specialists. And if you are not yet a client, you can still enjoy free advice from one of our business experts. Simply call us on1890 252 923.
Download your pregnancy risk assessment template (Ireland version) now.
Disclaimer: This template is provided ‘as is’ and Peninsula Business Services Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Peninsula Business Services Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.
Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.