Working in a soft play area?(6 Posts)
I am currently 14 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my first child, I've just had my first ultrasound which has put my mind at ease, I've not had any bleeding or any signs of miscarriage but I have been really worried about losing the baby from the day we found out I was pregnant.
I've come back to work from three days off to see that I've been put on a twelve hour shift in our soft play area. I am not comfortable with this but being a team leader at the restaurant I work at and soft play being part of the job, I feel I have to continue. This does include getting into the equipment to check its safety, potentially having to fetch children from the equipment. In the past a member of staff has been hit in the tummy by a child and this is haunting me that I might either fall, bash myself on the equipment or God forbid a child might hit me.
My managers are aware I am pregnant and have been for some time, I'm also supposed to be on reduced hours but I'm not sure how a 12 hour shift is reduced hours????
I do now have a bump (that grows during the day!) so the pregnancy is far more real for me now, I'm just so worried about losing baby :-(
Can anyone give me any advice?
Gave your employees done a Pregnancy Risk Assesment for you? They are required by law to do this, to identify tasks that may be dangerous ir dificult for you, and out in mitigation measures.
Who stipulated reduced hours?
Is your restaurant part of a lager chain with HR or occupational health to support you?
I would be more worried about working a 12 hour shift than working in soft play to be honest. 12 hours is a long stretch and depending on how you're feeling, might really overtire you.
I don't think working in the soft play is any more dangerous than a lot of jobs. You will have to be careful about how you lift etc (because joints tend to be a bit softer in pregnancy) but the baby is well protected.
Has a risk assessment been done? That might exclude extended shifts.
Thank you both, I have had a risk assessment but this mostly covered my duties in the restaurant, lifting kegs etc which I no longer do. The restaurant is part of a huge chain which does have an HR department.
There isn't much in the way of heavy lifting in the soft play side aside from if a child gets stuck in which case it's a job I shouldn't really be doing anyway according to the risk assessment for the equipment but it's expected by the parents (oh the things I've seen and will NOT repeat with my own child!)
I asked to go into reduced hours early in my first trimester as I felt I wasn't coping well with the stress of managing the team etc being so exhausted myself, this was from 40-50hours down to 20-25 hours although as it transpires I'm being put down to work around 35 hours which is okay now I'm gaining a bit more energy.
I think I'll talk to my general manager today about my concerns working such a long shift in what can be an unpredictable environment.
You should be risk assessed for the soft play area duties as well. But generally in a healthy pregnancy there shouldn't be too much to stress about. Did you find your job particularly stressful before?
I think you may be a bit too anxious here. In my second pregnancy, I was regularly chasing DC1 around soft play equipment, lifting her up & hauling her out. Now you're pregnant, I'm sure you'll start noticing how many other pregnant ladies there are in the soft play equipment.
I agree that 12 hours is a long shift. What will you be doing? The staff at the various soft play I go to are mainly sat down. I certainly haven't seen any carrying a child, indeed they are rarely in the equipment.
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