Jobs at risk in pregnancy

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Hazardous work during pregnancy

The pregnant woman is protected by law. If her work and / or her work environment present risks to pregnancy, they must be properly assessed and identified in order to ensure safety for the mother and fetus. What are the work at risk during pregnancy?





Let's say first of all that the employer must assess the risks to the safety and health of workers, take the necessary measures so that exposure to risk of workers is avoided, entrust the worker with other tasks, if the risk cannot be eliminated.

List of jobs at risk in pregnancy

The pregnant woman may have a work at risk if he has duties of:



  • heavy work, even housework, in awkward positions
  • work carried out in an unfavorable climate: too noisy, dusty, too hot or too cold
  • work involving heavy lifting
  • noisy jobs
  • jobs that require you to stand for more than half of your working time
  • works subject to continuous vibrations
  • works exhibiting a harmful chemicals (in contact or inhaled), exposure to biological agents, exposure to ionizing radiation

The woman, together with the employer, will assess whether she is subject to an obligation to change duties or will have to take advantage of early leave for work at risk.

If the pregnancy continues regularly and there are no health problems for the mother and the fetus, the work environment must be adequately studied to assess whether there is a possible health risk from it.

In the event that this eventuality occurs, the woman can be moved to a safe and healthy environment where she will carry out:

  • Research work
  • Administrative work
  • You work in the library
  • Concierge work

The aforementioned works are considered healthy if the expectant mother has to carry out compilation, organization, writing, binding tasks. You will not have to use portable ladders, moderate the use of the photocopier, attend places where there is possible biological, chemical or radioactive contagion. Moreover he must limit the use of the display screen to 20 hours per week.



Of course, all of this has to be evaluated subjectively by the pregnant woman. If small problems arise in the clinical picture of pregnancy that can be worsened by the above-mentioned works, it is logical to evaluate case by case before defining the work 100% healthy for you.

An example is the presence of low back pain: sitting posture also aggravates it, or morning sickness, which can be aggravated by the use of means of transport or by particular smells. Furthermore, it is necessary to evaluate the dexterity and maternal balance and to understand if the jobs recommended to her allow her not to expose herself to useless dangers: for example slippery floors or confined spaces.

Read also: Premature birth, how to avoid it

Early maternity due to unsafe work

The compulsory leave will be anticipated three months before giving birth if there are problems of occupational healthiness, and there will be an absolute prohibition on assigning the pregnant woman to unhealthy work up to seven months after giving birth if she cannot be adequately moved to a better job.

The employer together with the competent doctor declares if there are any problems for the maintenance of the health of the pregnant woman and the baby, he will provide for prevention and clear information on the risks possibly present. She will decide whether to move the woman to a safer job if it is possible otherwise, upon communication to the provincial labor directorate, she will allow the worker to take advantage of the early leave from work.

Le exposure to ionizing rays in the particular jobs that exploit them, breastfeeding women are also forbidden and as regards working with night shifts, we remind you that they are not obliged to work at night:

  • the pregnant woman for the entire duration of pregnancy and until the child's first year of life
  • the mother of a child under the age of 3 or, alternatively, the father worker living with the same;
  • the worker or worker who is the sole custodial parent of a cohabiting child under the age of 12.
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