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ARC - Pregnant workers ‘put at risk’

Pregnant CSP members could suffer because many employers are failing to carry out adequate workplace risk assessments, Conference heard.

Delegates backed calls for a CSP campaign to raise awareness among members and employers of women’s maternity rights.

Julie Knight, representing Welsh stewards and safety representatives, cited surveys showing that half of employers were ignorant of their responsibilities to assess health and safety risks at work that affected pregnant women and their unborn children. She said the vast majority of industrial tribunal cases involving maternity issues involved breaches of health and safety legislation.

Ms Knight said the CSP should promote a ‘hazards checklist’ for pregnant members as part of a campaign highlighting new NHS occupational health and safety standards. Lindsay Willis, for the national group of regional stewards, said pregnant women in the Netherlands benefited from early intervention discussions with occupational health physicians leading to ‘tailor-made’ management of their return to work. ‘More could be done to protect female members before, during and after pregnancy,’ she said.

Theresa Cook, of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health, said there were enlightened employers who were minimising risks and this approach should become the norm. She said: ‘It is in the interests of any business to look after their staff.’

Motion 20 was carried was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP)

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