Luckily for me, where I work now they are pretty hot on office health and safety. For the first time in my career, I work for a company that have an actual Human Resources Department and HR Manager. Trust me, when you have worked for companies that consider health and safety to be an annual trip to the car park for a quick fag break/ fire drill, this is quite a novelty!
When I told my employer about my pregnancy earlier this year, apart from the positive response I received one of the first things they wanted to do was a risk assessment of office safety. They gave me a form to complete so that I could self assess and advise them in writing of any issues within my work place that I felt could cause me harm.
In all honesty, I thought this was a bit over the top as I work in an office and sit at a desk all day! I would hardly consider it a potentially dangerous environment for myself or my unborn child. Unlike other work environments such as a factory with chemical agents or operating heavy machinery. However, some office environments are not as safe as they should be…
So what are the hidden dangers in the office for pregnant workers?
- Lack of trained First Aiders
- Trip hazards – trailing wires/ cables and boxes
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Missing or incomplete First Aid Boxes
- Lack of fire safety/ training
Thankfully, none of these were an issue for me in my office and my form was returned quite sparse. But these potential hazards aren’t really exclusive to pregnant women, they can affect all employees. To find out more about office safety you can view this helpful interactive graphic and do a little self assessment of your own work place.
*This post was written in collaboration with Accident Advice Helpline*