Manager Responsible for H&S

Manager Responsible for H&S

New and Expectant Mothers’ Risk Assessment


A new mother is employee who has given birth within the previous six months or is breastfeeding.

An expectant mother is an employee who is pregnant.

Given birth is defined as delivered a living child or, after 24 weeks of pregnancy, a stillborn child.

Trimesters are the 3 stages of pregnancy. The first trimester is weeks 1 – 12, second trimester is weeks 13 – 26 and the third trimester is weeks 27 – end.

Legal Framework

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (WHSWR)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (Republic of Ireland)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (Republic of Ireland)


The manager who has control over the work which the new/expectant mum is undertaking in consultation with the Manager responsible for health and safety (H&S) at a workplace are responsible for ensuring that a New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment has been undertaken for any new or expectant mother. The assessment should be completed in consultation with the new or expectant mother.

Where the manager who has control over the work which the new/expectant mum is undertaking is not the new/expectant mums’ Line Manager (e.g. when cabin crew are grounded and working in a shop under the control of the retail manager and not the Cabin Crew Performance Manager), then a copy of the risk assessment must be provided to the Line Manager by the manager in control of the work activity.

The Manager who has control over the workis responsible for implementing the actions identified in a timely manner, ensuring the provisions remain effective, and reviewing the assessment as required.

The new or expectant mother is responsible for informing their Line Manager in writing of their pregnancy, birth in the last six months or that they are breastfeeding.


1)The risks and the controls identified in this assessment are those which are over and above those resulting from other risk assessments.

2)The risk assessment is specific to the new or expectant mother. It must not be performed generically.

3)Advice received from a GP or midwife must be taken into account in performing this risk assessment.

4)The risk assessment must be performed in consultation with the new or expectant mother.

5)The assessment should be reviewed as required.

  1. For expectant mothers this should be as a minimum at the start of each trimester or more frequently if new information becomes available and in any respect following a significant change
  2. For new mothers there is no need to review the risk assessment unless there has been a significant change.

6)Controls could include temporary adjustments to working conditions and hours or suitable alternative work. If these are not feasible, then the new or expectant mother should be suspended from work on paid leave or given paid time off for as long as necessary to protect their H&S.This includes

  1. The need for physical rest may require that the new/expectant mum has access to somewhere she can sit or lie down comfortably in privacy, and without disturbance, at appropriate intervals.
  2. Access to appropriate facilities for breastfeeding mothers to express and use of secure, clean refrigerators for safely storing expressed breast milk or time off to express milk or breastfeed.

7)The risk assessment should be maintained for at least 3years in the new/expectant mums personal file.

8)NOTE: The WHSWR do not apply to aircraft

Further Information

Further information can be obtained from the following Guidance Documents:

-New and expectant mothers at work. A guide for employers. HSG 122(Health and Safety Executives)

-Guide to theSafety, Health and Welfare at Work(General Application)Regulations 2007. Chapter 2 of Part 6: Protection of Pregnant, Post Natal and Breastfeeding Employees (Health and Safety Authority)

* Applies to expectant mothers only

Document / New and Expectant Mothers’ Risk Assessment / Issue / 2
Department / Risk Safety and Quality / Page / 1 of 5
Authority / Occupational Risk Manager / Date / August 2010

New and Expectant Mothers’ Risk Assessment

Manager responsible for H&S: / Name of new / expectant mother: / Location:
Brief description of work activities: / Date of initial assessment:
Review frequency1:
Expected date of confinement: / Actual delivery date: / Work pattern: / Shift / Day / Night / Weekend / Lone working2
Aspects of pregnancy / birth which may affect work2 / Morning sickness / Headaches / Backache / Varicose veins / Oedema / Haemorrhoids / Size / Frequent relief breaks / Fatigue / Balance / High blood pressure / Caesarean / History of miscarriage / Post natal depression / Other (specify)2:
Are existing work arrangements suitable? / Yes / No2 / If No, alternative work arrangements:

1For expectant mothers, as a minimum, risk assessment must be reviewed at the start of each trimester or sooner if new information becomes available and following asignificant change. For new mums there is no need to review risk assessment unless there is a significant change.

2Circle all that apply

Assessment Criteria / Yes / No / N/A / Comments / Guidelines / Actions Required
Manual Handling:
Expectant mothers are at risk due to hormonal changes that affect the ligaments, postural problems as pregnancy progress and following birth especially for caesarean births.
-Does the work involve lifting / lowering / carrying / pushing / pulling loads? / Eliminate or reduce as far as reasonably practicable all manual handling activities.
There should be no manual handling of heavy loads.
Ergonomics / Posture / Sedentary Work:
Prolonged standing, sitting or walking could lead to fatigue / poor circulation / varicose vein / backache /discomfort.
Tight /restricted workspaces are a hazard if they can not be adjusted to take account of increasing size. Body movements are limited and difficult to adjust to workspace.
-Is the workplace/workstation tight / restrictive and/or difficult to adjust?*
-Does the work involve prolonged periods of standing or sitting? / Introduce longer and more frequent rest breaks.
Provide good quality seating with adequate back support.
Ensure workspace / workstation is adjustable.
Slips / Trips / Falls:
Expectant mothers are less able to adjust posture to avoid falling and the consequence of a fall is potentially more serious.
-Are there slip or trip hazards which could lead to fall? / Eliminate or reduce the risk of slips and trips. Implement controls e.g. highlight raised steps, repair damaged flooring, use wet floor signs, clean up spills, maintain good housekeeping.
Ensure lighting levels are adequate.
Work at Height:
Expectant mothers may experience problems working at height. A safe position may not be easy to adopt due to size.
-Does the work involve work at height? / Work at height activities should be reduced or eliminated.
Working with Machinery:
Dexterity, agility, co-ordination, speed of movement, balance and reach may be impaired.
-Does the work involve machinery? / Ensure the work is adequately controlled.
There are no unique risks to new and expectant mothers but this may increase tiredness / fatigue.
-Is there exposure to high levels of noise? / Comply with the requirements of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
Vibration and Shock*:
Exposure to shock, vibration or excessive movement may increase the chances of miscarriage or premature birth.
-Is there exposure to shocks, jolts or vibration? / Avoid work likely to involve uncomfortable whole body vibration, or where the abdomen is exposed to shocks or jolts.
Ionising Radiation including Cosmic Radiation*:
Exposure to ionising radiation can be harmful to the unborn child.
-Is there a risk of exposure to ionising radiation e.g. X-rays or cosmic radiation? / Exposure to radiation should be kept below 1 mSv for the duration of the pregnancy.
Crew should not fly.
Expectant crew are automatically grounded once confirmed pregnant.
-Is there any need for expectant mother to fly? / Expectant mothers to discuss any issues with their GP.
Hazardous Substances including Biological Agents:
In addition to general hazards, certain substances are hazardous to the unborn child or breast fed babies. Account should be taken of substances classed as (very) toxic, mutagen, carcinogen and teratogen and in particular those with the risk phraseR46, R61, R63, R64 and R68.
-Is there exposure to hazardous substances?
-Do these include substances of particular risk to the unborn child / breast fed babies? / Perform a COSHH assessment for each hazardous substance.
Mental Job Demands / Stress*:
Excessive mental demands could give rise to anxiety, stress and raised blood pressure.
-Does the work involve meeting challenging deadlines?
-Can the pace of work be controlled by the expectant mother? / Ensure that the volume and pace of work is not excessive and expectant mother has some control of how work is organised.
Environmental Conditions – Extremes of Temperature, Ventilations & Humidity:
Expectant mothers are less tolerant of heat and more liable to heat stress.
Breastfeeding may be impaired by dehydration.
-Is there exposure to these extreme environmental conditions? / Introduce rest breaks, rest facilities. Provide drinking water and oral rehydration salts.
Provide warm clothing in cold conditions.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)*:
Risks may arise due to changing shape / posture.
-Does the work involve use of DSE? / Perform a DSE assessment.
Lone Working:
-Does the work involve working alone? / Perform a lone worker risk assessment.(NOTE Cabin crew are not permitted to lone work)
Night and Shift Work*:
-Does the work involve shift work?
-Does the work involve night work? / Consider changing hours of work.
If a medical certificate states night work could affect H&S, alternative day time work must be offered.
Rest facilities:
-Are there suitable facilities for rest?
-Can rest breaks be taken when required?
-Does the new mum wish to express milk?
-Are there suitable facilities for expressing and storing expressed milk? / Consider need to sit or lie comfortably in private without disturbance.
Access to appropriate facilities to express and use of secure, clean fridges to safely store expressed milk or time off to express or breastfeed.
-Is there regular access to toilet facilities’?
-Is there a risk of violence?
-Does the work involve dealing with emergency situations?
-Does the work involve driving for long periods?
-Does the work require theuse of personal protective equipment which may no longer be suitable? / Ensure regular rest breaks.
Ensure journeys are planned with adequate comfort breaks.
Review PPE provided and ensure it continues to remain suitable.
Other – specify:

* Applies to expectant mothers only

New and Expectant Worker Risk Assessment Review History

Date / Reviewers / Purpose of review1 / Findings

1For expectant mothers, as a minimum, risk assessment must be reviewed at the start of each trimester or sooner if new information becomes available and following significant change. For new mums there is no need to review risk assessment unless there is a significant change.

Significant change that could lead to risk assessment review includes an accident or incident, changes in legislation, other significant change e.g. working practices, training, procedure, personnel, location or work equipmentor notification by GP or nurse of any other issues.

Document / New and Expectant Mothers’ Risk Assessment / Issue / 2
Department / Risk Safety and Quality / Page / 1 of 5
Authority / Occupational Risk Manager / Date / August 2010