Work Safety During Pregnancy
Once pregnant, every woman begins to worry more about her health, for she wants to ensure maximum protection for her baby. For working women, work is the place where they spend most of their time; this is why it is essential for the working environment to be safe for the woman and her baby. To ensure your safety you should know the following:
- Your employer must protect your health and safety at work, so you must tell them that you are pregnant at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week when your baby is due. The employer would also like to know in advance when you will start your maternity leave.
- Every pregnant employee has the right to take time off for her prenatal care. And any time off for prenatal care must be paid at your normal rate of pay.
- If your work expose you or your baby for risks your employer must either remove the risk or remove you from being exposed to it for example, by offering you suitable alternative work.
These risks might be caused by:
· lifting or carrying heavy loads
· standing or sitting for long periods
· exposure to toxic substances (pesticides, mercury, etc.)
· long working hours
· night-time working
- Discuss any job-related concerns about your health or the health of your baby with your doctor or midwife.
Remember, being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to leave your work, just be careful and make sure your work is safe for you and for your baby. In case you have a problem receiving your rights while working when pregnant, talk to your employer, it may be a misunderstanding!