Gender sensitive Health and Safety

Health and safety regulations are uniform and applied to everyone. Luckily there are some specific issues witch affect especially pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and those undergoing the menopause. They are more susceptible to certain hazards due to physiological reasons.

The most common dangers at the work place witch expectant mothers can encounter are,

- Manual handling and bending hazards

- Infectious diseases such as chicken pox, rubella or those representing danger of infection trough animal contact

- Display screen equipment- it is not demonstrated yet to link directly to a particular disease but certainly the possibility for occasional breaks and comfortable and correct posture are very important.

- Strong colleague support against violence required particularly at public related jobs.

There are specific Health and Safety regulations for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers who have given birth in the last six months and women who have miscarried after 24 weeks of pregnancy. In each one of these situations a particular risk assessment and method statement must be carried out. The employer is obliged by law to reduce the existing risks for the vulnerable woman and if a particular risk could not be eliminated, an alternative job position must be considered. If there is no a possibility to do that, a temporary work suspension on a full pay must be agreed between the parties. The risk assessment has to be reviewed at every different stage of the pregnancy, because of the possibility of harm to the fetus and mother vary at the different stages.

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