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Risk Assesment For Pregnant Staff


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Does anyone have a copy of a risk assesment that they use within the nursery setting for a pregnant member of staff. I have one that I am not sure about and it would be really useful to look at someone elses. Have 5 staff that are expecting and 1 that is causing a few problems that in turn is causing friction amongst the other staff. At 2.5 months she said she couldnt change nappies or lift the babies and now at 4 months she said she can't pick up the bibs or flannels off the table. As you can imagine this is causing a lot of rifts and I need to address it and clarify the risks involved with her and restore peace and harmony to the room!!

 

Many Thanks

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Hi Nursery3

 

I had to do a risk assessment for a pregnant member of staff last year, and I 'googled' to obtain a template. You should complete in full consultation with your employeee, and ideally should carry it out as soon as you know of the pregnancy. Areas of concern that came up in consultation with my employee was manual handling, infection (e.g. chicken pox outbreak), comfort breaks, and seating. We discussed these fully together to come to a mutual agreement as to how these would be handled. My employee, fortunately, did not treat her pregnancy as a problem, and worked throughout as if she wasn't pregnant.

 

You should regularly reassess the risk assessment in consultation with your employee, and document all discussions/your mutual agreement of tackling each issue.

 

Don't understand why you can't pick up bibs/flannels etc. With nappies presumably they wear protective clothing/gloves etc, so that shouldn't be a problem in itself, although maybe lifting of the children could be.

 

Good luck! 5 staff at once must be something of a record!

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Hi,

We do have a risk assesment in place and we have been reviewing it regularly with each of them. The problem we are having at the moment is that one of them is ascertaining everything as a "potential" risk so really is there isnt much she can do! This started with the lifting at nappy change (which I can understand as we have a large baby room) and then not being able to sit on the floor with the babies (again I know mobility is affected by pregnancy) so I got round that one by getting her to sit at the table and supervise the rolling snack. That was then a problem because some of the 1-2 year olds needed help to sit down at their chairs. This has gone on and on and with every solution I find she finds a risk!! This last week ended up with her being based in the milk kitchen a lot, warming the bottles, washing them and putting them away etc. She was delighted with this role for all of a few days until I asked her to wipe down the tables after tea as our housekeeper was off who normally does that. That was it she refused to do it saying she couldnt bend down down to pick up the flannels and bibs and for me that was the final straw and I was at the point were I nearly lost the plot. !! I suggested that she go home early and come back on Monday to see me so we could review the risk assesement again and sort out exactly what she could do. She has no medical reasons why she cant pick up a flannel, bib etc as I know that sometimes during pregnancy people do have problems doing things like that. eg I have a friend who struggled to move because of damage she suffered to her pelvis during a previous pregnancy.

The thing is all this is causing so much bad feeling in the room that I have to deal with it once and for all. I have spoken to ACAS and the H+S exec who suggest that we review the risk asssesment and request permission to write to her GP to ascertain what she can and cant do. The other 4 pregnant staff in the building are just carrying on as normal and taking a sensible common sense approach to everything and the remaining staff are wanting me to build a large brick wall in the room so they can bang their heads against it. Oh well will just have to deal with it on Monday!!!!! Many thanks for advice and risk assesment.

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Without wishing to be grumpy ...

 

You could take a really hard line ... if the GP says there's no reason she can't do things you could be ultra ultra ultra supportive of her and say that you realise how hard she's finding it and perhaps she sould start her Mat. leave now (that'll sort it I would think as with limited paid Mat leave she'll have to come back to work when the baby's about 6 weeks old if she goes now), or you could start 'Incapability' proceedings (If you're unable to do the job - not becasue you're incompentant but because you are incapable of fulfilling your contract for whatever reason)

You need to be seen to being firm but fair or the others will put in complaints about equal rights!

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on

pw

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I think you are going to have to be firm. You work in a nursery and she has to be able to be fit to work. Yes her safety is considered, but you are going to need to go through her job description and see what she considers a risk. Then have a hard chat , she is only pregnant and it happens to a lot of us.

 

I am really aware of how special babies are my son was IVF and if nothing else he cost a fortune - so I was a bit careful and my placenta was low so it was no lifting. But I was in classroom through out my pregnancy, ran a Brownie pack and everything else we do.

 

Does she have any known medical conditions with this preganancy/ is it her first one - has she had a chat with the other girls?

 

Sitting on floor at 4 months pregnant - no problem (wait till she's eight months and you need a hoist!)

 

Picking things up - no problem. Bibs are not heavy. (yes you can suffer more with clicky bits, but it really is be alert to possibilities of things occuring- not avoiding doing anthing). How big is her handbag does it weigh more than the bibs?

 

When pregnant it really is not about avoiding doing things, you just have to adapt how you do it. You can bend (knees bend etc), sit and stand - you may be slower but you get there

 

If we all took her approach we would be out of a job as you could never have 2 children, because mums could not lift the first born whilst pregnant with the next.

 

Good luck - there's always lots of paper work to do. how about a week of reviewing the policies - I bet she will be begging to sit on the floor and play.

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I agree with pw1 about offering the early maternity leave, when I was pregnant with my girls I worked for Royal Mail and just got on with it, none of the managers asked me to lift heavy bags etc and my male colleagues were always fussing and looking out for me anyway. Another girl was also expecting one of the times but couldn't/wouldn't do anything, couldn't sit/stand/walk for to long, couldn't bend or stretch found it hard to hold a pen/paper. She did manage to sleep in the medical room for most of her shift though, when she turned up. She reached about four months and was made to start maternity leave no option. A couple of other pregnant girls who had been following her example (mainly because they were fed up with watching her get away with it) soon backtracked from the fear been given early maternity leave. With Charlie I carried on working at pre-school until 4 days before he was born and was able to carry on as normal, except for carrying the tables across the floor and up onto the stage! On the other hand her behaviour could be from genuine fear of harming the baby.

Good luck sorting it out,

Karrie

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I have spoken to ACAS and the H+S exec who suggest that we review the risk asssesment and request permission to write to her GP to ascertain what she can and cant do.

Good advice here, nursery3 - I really sympathise with your situation. Whatever you decide to do, make it clear that you have taken advice from Acas and Health and Safety Executive, and are acting on their advice - this should help take some of the sting out of the situation (and hopefully prevent the conversation taking a turn of the 'industrial tribunal' variety). Of course her GP might well tell you that she has additional reasons to be cautious - but my guess is that if this was the fact you'd have heard about it by now.

 

What strikes me is how the other pregnant ladies must be feeling - you're lucky they haven't all followed suit!

 

Let us know how things go!

 

Maz

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Many thanks to everyone for the advice. We had a meeting and although I am not 110% happy with the situation we seemed to have reached an agreement as such and have reviewed the risk assesment yet again. I thought I knew this person pretty well but have come to realise that I don't and it seems that she knows the system inside out along with which trick to play next. Oh well a few more months and peace will be restored. :o

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