The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 requires that suitable and sufficient general and specific risk assessments are carried out with regard to pregnant women. These risks may be from exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents.
A new or expectant mother must notify her employer in writing if she is pregnant, has given birth in the previous six months, or is breast-feeding, in order that measures can be taken to avoid any risks to her health and safety. Where possible her conditions or hours should then be altered to avoid any risk. Where this is not possible the employee should be suspended from such work for as long as necessary to avoid such risks.
Safety with regard to young persons
The Health and Safety of Young Persons Regulations 1997 places extra responsibilities on employers of young persons. These affect all persons under the age of 18 years and apply to casual work, short term work and work experience.
A specific risk assessment should be carried out before a young person (under the age of 18), starts work and, in the case of a 'child' (under the age of 16), the child's parents must be given a copy of the assessment.
Any assessment carried out shall include the possible consequences of a lack of experience, absence of awareness of existing or potential risks, or that the young persons may not have fully matured.
Young persons shall not be employed for work which is: beyond their physical capabilities, involves exposure to harmful or hazardous substances, or exposure to radiation or where there is a risk to health from noise, extreme heat or cold or vibration. Any young person employed should be supervised by a competent person and any risks reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable.