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New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment

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Summary

There has been a large number of requests from schools in relation to risk assessments for new and expectant mothers and the latest guidance.

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​CHSU advise that the SCC F17 risk assessment template can be downloaded and used (located on the SCC Health and Safety Section extranet page here: http://extranet.somerset.gov.uk/health-and-safety/policies-forms/).

Section F of the template focuses on Viruses, of which COVID-19 would come under this section. Each individual will need to be assessed on their own merits as pregnancy affects the expectant mother in different ways. However, the main Government guidance for new and expectant mothers in the school is to place them in the clinically vulnerable category and to follow the advice as follows:

Staff who are clinically vulnerable: ​


 

Clinically vulnerable staff can return to school in the autumn term. While in school they should follow the sector-specific measures in this document to minimise the risks of transmission.


This includes taking particular care to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene, minimising contact and maintaining social distancing in line with the provisions set out in section 6 of the ‘prevention’ section of this guidance. This provides that ideally, adults should maintain 2 metre distance from others, and where this is not possible avoid close face to face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of others. While the risk of transmission between young children and adults is likely to be low, adults should continue to take care to socially distance from other adults including older children/adolescents.
People who live with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable can attend the workplace.


Staff who are pregnant:

Pregnant women are in the ‘clinically vulnerable’ category and are generally advised to follow the above advice, which applies to all staff in schools.

Employers should conduct a risk assessment for pregnant women in line with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW).
The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) has published occupational health advice foremployers and pregnant women. This document includes advice for women from 28 weeks gestation or with underlying health conditions who may be at greater risk. We advise employers and pregnant women to follow this advice and to continue to monitor for future updates to it.

The comment above re 28 weeks advises managers to pay greater attention to the employee as this period is a critical stage in their pregnancy and vulnerabilities to infection. On-going discussion and consultation with the employee is required throughout, which may also prompt updates from their GP, midwife or Occupational Health to determine whether they are fit to work in school, or what reasonable adjustments can be made to keep the employee safe (this may include reduced class/contact time, working from home or advice from HR re their pay, conditions and commencement of maternity leave as possible measures).

The Government guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#school-workforce

Contact Details

CHSU@somerset.gov.uk or 01823 355089

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Created at 11/09/2020 09:50 by Jemma.Gillard
Last modified at 11/09/2020 09:56 by Jemma.Gillard