For Employers: How to Keep Pregnant Workers Safe in the Workplace

Ensuring the Safety of Pregnant people in the OfficeThe most valuable assets of your company are your hardworking employees. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure their safety in the workplace. For pregnant workers, however, you need to take extra measures to keep them safe from potential reproductive hazards. Remember that your employees’ safety and health are great for your company’s bottom line. Showing them that you care about their safety and health can improve employee retention, morale, and reduce the risk of illness and injury. In general, it’s your responsibility under law to:

Adhere to Safety and Health Requirements

One of your primary duties as a responsible employer is to provide your employees with the safest working environment possible. Generally speaking, you need to evaluate the workplace to ensure that there is zero to few hazards to pregnant employees. Train them in safe working practices and provide them with the necessary tools they require to accomplish their tasks safely.

Determine Specific Workplace Hazards

Certain dangers are apparent, such as chemicals that could easily harm pregnant women or equipment that could cause injury. When assessing the workplace for potential hazards, don’t forget to factor in stress, fatigue, working night shifts and long hours, noise, as well as sitting or standing for a long time. After successfully identifying potential hazards, you can then start managing the risks to ensure the workplace’s safety. For example, if a pregnant woman works in the kitchen, you can make her more comfortable by providing anti-fatigue kitchen mats, offering longer rest breaks and more.

Establish a Strategy Specific to Pregnant Employees

Some exposures in the workplace are naturally more hazardous to pregnant employees than other employees. Evaluate jobs that could pose risks to pregnant employees. If you find a pregnant employee’s current job risky for her condition, offer to transfer her to a safer job temporarily. If some tasks of a pregnant employee are dangerous, you can assign another employee to take over those tasks.

You need to do whatever you reasonably could to help make sure that you pregnant employees are safe in the workplace. Likewise, note that since the needs of pregnant workers might change throughout their pregnancy, you need to constantly evaluate and manage potential hazards as they arise.