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Health and safety at work pregnant, hazardous chemicals

(3 Posts)
SpecialStains Fri 18-Mar-16 11:06:31

Was wondering if anyone with more knowledge could help me out. If you work with hazardous chemicals (carcinogens, teartogens, pathogens) and you have a risk assessment that raises these, can an employer forcibly stop you from continuing to work with them (even if wearing full ppe, fumes hoods etc) if you want to continue working with them? At what point does the right of a pregnant woman to not be discriminated against (ie not being allowed to do the same jobs) become less important than an employers duty to protect?

I just ask because I consider the risks to be minimal as long as I am following protocol and doing everything correctly. If anything was that bad/harmful, I wouldn't be playing with it in the first place. With extra caution, I want to continue as normal, but the health and safety officer thinks otherwise.

Surely it's my decision at the end of the day? (As a disclaimer, I'm generally a very anxious, risk adverse person, but I've considered this and only want to make a few small adjustments).

Can anyone better informed please advise me? Thanks. smile

DreamFever Fri 18-Mar-16 11:19:27

Maybe someone in employment issues would be better able to advise?

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/employment_issues

I'm no expert, but as I understand it, your work have a legal duty to protect you from work related illness or injury as far as reasonably practicable.

I don't know how far that extends to your unborn baby - whether a workplace could be held legally liable if your unborn DC were to be harmed because your work allowed you to continue working with hazardous chemicals, even at your request - but I'd guess that concern might be part of your health and safety officer's decision making.

But really you need someone who's an expert on employment and / or health and safety legislation to advise you. They're more likely to be lurking in employment issues.

SpecialStains Fri 18-Mar-16 12:07:19

Thanks dreamfever I'll post there. smile

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