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To think that pregnancy is not a fecking disablity

(43 Posts)
Reallytired Fri 10-Oct-08 19:05:36

I am pregnant and at work my boss has produced a fairly comprehensive risk assessment. Its four pages includes risks that I would never come across.

For example it says I am not to clear up bodily fluids. But then I am an IT technician I am not paid to clear up kids' wee or vomit. I have never done so and don't ever intend to.

The risk assessment suggests that I wear a face mask every time I change an inkjet cartridge. The kids are going wet themselves laughing. (Prehaps that is why the risk assessment menntions bodily fluids)

Supposely I am not supposed to do any manual handling whatsoever or to climb under desks. There is no guidence of how my wieght I am allowed to carry. For example am I allowed to carry an inkjet cartridge. (wearing gloves ofcourse)

It makes it a bit hard for me to do my job. The risk assessment will still be in force if even I choose to breastfeed until two years. I am in excellent health and just over 12 weeks pregnant.

TheHedgeWitch Fri 10-Oct-08 19:10:08

Message withdrawn

sagacious Fri 10-Oct-08 19:12:31

I agree with HW (cept I would have said arses)

I had to do a risk assessment for a deskbound job, it really was a cut and paste job.

But IT HAS to be done.

TinkerBellesMum Fri 10-Oct-08 19:17:29

Sounds like they may have gone over board, but they're probably taking into consideration that you won't be 12 weeks forever!

THW, we're British here! Asses are donkeys. wink

expatinscotland Fri 10-Oct-08 19:19:10

What HedgeWitch said.

They have to do this and be as thorough as they can and comply with a standardised method for doing so.

lazyhen Fri 10-Oct-08 19:22:40

Can you imagine how upset you'd be if there was an accident that could have been prevented?

I'm all for it. It's not a disibility but it is a condition where allowances have to be made in the best interests of you and the baby (and obviously the arses of your company).

Once you've done it, you can treat it as a box ticking exercise each time you come back to review it.

Well done your boss!

flowerybeanbag Fri 10-Oct-08 19:29:37

YABU simply because lots of women never get a risk assessment done and struggle to get their bosses to accept that they shouldn't be doing x,y or z.

Yes it seems over the top but it's much better that they are over cautious than the other way around. And presumably there's not going to be anyone hovering over you should you wish to be daring and not wear your face mask..grin

PumpkinPatty Fri 10-Oct-08 19:33:07

Do you HAVE to have a risk assessment at work if you're pregnant?

Cos I never did....

mabanana Fri 10-Oct-08 19:33:59

Yes, they have to cover the asses because otherwise they could run amok, causing a hazard. Nasty, big teeth, asses.

georgimama Fri 10-Oct-08 19:35:43

Yes, you are supposed to have a risk assessment when you are pregnant, it's in the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 (reg 3 I think). There should be a risk assessment for your job anyway which should just be re-assessed in the light of the pregnancy/breastfeeding.

Twiga Fri 10-Oct-08 19:36:10

YABU, sounds like your boss has done a full job on this, which as a previous poster has said is more than some - I worked in a job when I was expecting dd where asault by clients was one of many risks and I fought for a long time before I could get my work to sort out risk assessment etc - Doc had to sign me off indef in the end to force them into it ie he felt risks were enough that I shouldn't be working uncovered iyswim. Also just because you feel fine doesn't mean that you won't have aches or feel shattered later for when you may well be grateful of not having to do some things. Wishing you all the best.

LaMonsterWeaselwolf Fri 10-Oct-08 19:37:54

I haven't had one done yet but I haven't wanted one. TBH, though - at 12 weeks I kept being told off for lifting heavy boxes etc and getting annoyed about it going yes yes, I'm fine - don't be so daft!

But am 17 weeks now and getting pains in my back and aches all over the place and I KNOW now I shouldn't have been such a muppet and should have listened to the advice earlier.

They are covering their arses, but they're also looking out for you. Let it go.

Habbibu Fri 10-Oct-08 19:40:30

They can't do bespoke risk assessment forms for everyone, so they have to produce a catch-all type form, which allows for the possibility that people may be prone to things like SPD, etc. Better too much than nothing, tbh.

Reallytired Fri 10-Oct-08 19:51:36

But my boss still expects me to do my job. I am being asked (with considerable pressure) to do things that my risk assessment says I shouldn't.

I haven't been lifting heavy boxes, but seriously what weight can a pregnant person lift?

Cappuccino Fri 10-Oct-08 19:54:54

when I was pg with dd2 my employers decided that the stairs to the break room were not safe so I couldn't have a cup of tea ith the other staff

so I sat alone in my little office with my kettle

nooOOOoonki Fri 10-Oct-08 19:55:30

reallytired, that is terrible

just say NO, it really isn't worth the risk, explain to them in medical terms why you cant

fledtoscotland Fri 10-Oct-08 20:04:00

YABU. your boss is only doing what is required of them by law to protect both you and them.

Twiga Fri 10-Oct-08 20:04:12

Reallytired, if they have deemed something too risky and it says in your risk assessment you shouldn't, tell them no firmly otherwise it's not worth the paper it's written on. Presumeably both you and your boss have signed the doc? It is a legally binding doc ie no comp if you are injured or heaven forbid something happens to your little one whilst you're breaching the assessment so please stand up to them on this because you can bet that they will be the first to point out a breach should something go wrong - sorry tend to be quite [hmmm] about these things.

Twiga Fri 10-Oct-08 20:08:30

On a weight lifting front, it depends person to person really but don't lift anything that you wouldn'[t have previously lifted regularly. AFAIK it's the same as the chat on exercise inpg - if you've always done it you continue but be aware of need to slow down, take breaks etc but don't suddenly do or add something new eg if always done aerobics fine to continue but being aware of pg issues but not ok to suddenly start training for marathon iyswim.

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 20:15:01

Reallytired they are covering their arses but you need to follow the rules to the letter, otherwise if you get an injury/miscarriage lifting heavy boxes you will not be able to make a claim. You need to speak to HR or the overall manager about this.
I had a similar issue when I was pg with dd1- working in operating theatres, carrying heavy instrument trays, pushing heavy trolleys, scrubbing for hours on end. I was scrubbed for 4hrs on the afternoon I finished work at 8mths pg shock because nobody on shift with me could do the op.

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 20:16:14

Being scrubbed = gowned and sterile, standing in almost the same spot without toilet breaks for 4hrs btw!

lazyhen Fri 10-Oct-08 20:29:28

I refused to see a patient who's house had cat sh*t in it (I'm a community worker), and it caused a bit of an issue with my manager at the time (childfree career woman) but who cares? I wasn't risking my baby to be a hero. Nobody remembers it now, another worker went instead of me (who had no problem doing it).

As it was I didn't have single day off sick when pregnant and I like to think that not only was I was very lucky but that I had also tried to protect myself as much as possible.

sunglasses Fri 10-Oct-08 20:30:57

I thought that risk assessments could be tailored to an individual- especially a pregnant one and were not a catch all type form.
I was also a technician and before pregnant did heavy lifting and worked with chemicals. My health and safety rep sat down with me, with my job description and went through all the possible risks i might be subject to and we worked out how i could continue in my job with no risk to myself or baby. In the case of certain chemicals you can find out which ones give off harmful fumes which may affect an unborn child ( they all have a data sheet). Not sure about the ink cartridges but if you can locate a data sheet it should tell you.
Lifting risks are mainly risks to the back as as you get bigger all your posture is thrown off and your hips softer etc- it doesnt mean if you lift something heavy you will give birth unexpectedly! i think an ink cartridge is fine
It seems you should discuss it further with your employers. In my case they were able to get in some help/cover for heavy work and chemicals etc and I was able to carry on with the rest.
Cant believe cappucino your employers were happier for you to be left alone in a room rather than be with other colleagues. I was always told not to work alone in case i fainted etc.
You can find out more info on the net yourself if you search. May help or confuse but might be worth a look

PumpkinPatty Fri 10-Oct-08 20:36:48

Does anyone know if there any regulations re. workplace temperature with regards to pregnant women?

milge Fri 10-Oct-08 20:39:15

YABU. The rise in pregnancy related litigation is frightening, so your boss is applying the nanny state better safe than sorry routine. Many pg women would be grateful!

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