Employers are required under health and safety legislation to conduct a risk assessment as part of their Safety Statement, which should be made available to all employees. However, employers and employees alike may be unaware of the fact that a risk assessment should also be conducted of the possible hazards in the workplace that could affect pregnant employees.
If your workplace only has a generic health and safety statement, which doesn’t outline the possible hazards in the workplace that could pose a risk to you during your pregnancy, then your employer could be in serious trouble. The Employment Appeals Tribunal case of Celestica Ireland Limited v Monka Samolis, demonstrates how an employer could land themselves in hot water. In this case, Ms. Samolis was employed as a production operative and her work involved heavy lifting and exposure to adhesive chemicals. When Ms. Samolis became pregnant, she asked her employer to carry out a risk assessment which they failed to do. Ms. Samolis subsequently suffered a miscarriage, which she believed was attributable to her working conditions. Not only did the Tribunal find in Ms. Samolis’ favour, they also increased the level of compensation awarded to her by the Rights Commissioner!
If you are concerned about your work environment, and if enough is being done to protect you during your pregnancy, then please do not hesitate to contact me.
To read more about the Celestica Ireland Limited v Monka Samolis case:-