Your normal work conditions, that have posed no health concerns before, may now be potentially hazardous to you and your unborn baby. You may need to take some steps to ensure that you do not place yourself in harm’s way. If you answer “yes” to any of the following points you should speak to your employer about changing the nature or location of your work.
Your workplace hazard checklist
Does your job expose you to:
- Toxic chemicals or gases
- Infectious diseases
- Animals and their faeces
- Extreme physical activity and heavy lifting
- Toxic waste
- Smoke from other people smoking cigarettes
Your rights to workplace safety during pregnancy
If you are pregnant and suspect your workplace may be dangerous to you or your unborn baby then under the Health and Safety in Employment Act you have the right to ask your employer to transfer you to an appropriate safe job. You may be required to provide a medical certificate to your employer explaining the workplace hazard and the period you (or your unborn baby) will be at risk.
If you are transferred to a safe job you will be employed under the same terms and conditions at the same rate of pay.
In some circumstances, if you are unable to fulfil your duties adequately or safely and there is no safe job to transfer to you may be able to commence your leave early under the orders of a doctor or midwife.
For more information see Pregnancy.