Hi all I'm 17 weeks pregnant with my first. I work in the theatre, backstage. I have done for 10 years - this isn't a new job for me! I am struggling in one venue where I freelance with blokes opinions on whether or not I can go up ladders - big, solid ladders... These are specific to the job and are far more sturdy than any ladder you can buy from B&Q etc. My argument is that it's my body... It's my decision. I'm not about to do something I don't feel comfortable with and as this is the kind of work I've been doing for years, it's not as if my body isn't used to it. Every pregnancy is different and I haven't a clue how this is going to feel. As soon as I feel dizzy/uncomfortable or anything unusual, I'll stop what I'm doing and ask for help. Why can't people respect that?!
What do other pregnant people think? Or anyone with this experience? I've stopped lifting most things now... Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
It's too personal for anyone to really be able to give an opinion. You may find under their risk assessment you aren't meant to be up the ladders, if that is the case and something happens the liability is squarely on your shoulders. Nothing bad will happen, but if it does you need to be OK with that. But if you feel safe and comfortable doing it, go ahead. Just rosl assess and use common sense. I say this as someone working on live electricity on a daily basis during pregnancy.
They haven't done a risk assessment for me yet I think they just think I'll magically go away if they don't do anything... Other venues I've worked in are happy to do a risk assessment and they've basically said "it's up to you to decide what you can and can't do" and are leaving it as an "active" file to revisit throughout my pregnancy.
Women in theatre are on the rise but pregnant women in theatre, particularly in my role (I also deal with electricity!) seems to be quite rare... And the risk assessments that I have done are the first of their kind at those venues. The two venues I have had risk assessments done at, find me a low risk job to do which I'm happy with, but neither venue's RA stops me from climbing ladders but would rather I did another part of the job instead (like footing the ladder). Again, this is fine... But I just am very frustrated at being dictated to :-/