Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Workplace Safety During PregnancyMarch 9, 2016
If there is ever a time to be vigilant about workplace safety, it is during a during a woman’s pregnancy. This is especially true for women who work in certain environments where exposure to chemicals, infections and other potentially dangerous scenarios that could affect the health of the baby. The following are examples of common workplace hazards that pregnant women should be aware of, and steps to take to ensure a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Exposure to Chemicals
Long-term exposure to certain chemicals, solvents and heavy metals can affect brain development. Workplace environments where these chemicals are most likely to be present include battery and paint factories, automobile plants, darkrooms, gas stations, pottery studios and commercial trucking firms.
Protective measures: Find out if the chemicals that you are being exposed to can cause problems with your pregnancy. Always use recommended protective gear like goggles, suits and fume hoods. If you are exposed to lead, have regular blood tests to ensure that lead levels are within a safe range.
Long hours and high levels of stress can be particularly risky for pregnant women, increasing the likelihood of early labor. Examples of high-pressure occupations that tend to involve very long hours include doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, etc.
Protective measures: While not always easy, stick to an eight-hour workday and try to take 10-minute breaks throughout the day. Practice relaxation techniques and incorporate regular exercise into your day.
Working in close proximity to blood and bodily fluids can increase the risk of transmitting dangerous infections to you and your baby. Exposure to even relatively harmless infections can increase the likelihood of miscarriage or developmental disabilities.
Protective measures: Follow all safety protocols and be proactive about avoiding situations where you are in close contact to people who could expose you to potentially serious infections.
Exposure to certain levels of radiation, or radioactive agents can increase the likelihood of birth defects. X-ray facilities, nuclear power plants and veterinary clinics are just a few examples of environments that could expose pregnant women to dangerous levels of radiation.
Protective measures: Follow safety protocols very closely at all time. Your employer should perform frequent readings of radiation levels.
Pregnant women are more likely to experience balance issues, so frequent standing or other physical changes can increase the likelihood of falling. Long periods of sitting can also cause back pain and swelling. Jobs that are physically demanding can increase the risk of premature labor. Warehouse work, factory lines, retail outlets, banks, hospitals, home health care and offices are common work environments that can place physical demands of pregnant women.
Protective measures: Take frequent, scheduled breaks and try to alternate between sitting and standing. Limit the amount of weight you lift to 25 pounds and remember to use proper form to avoid injury.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Pregnant Women Obtain Maximum Compensation for Work Injuries
If you or your baby has been injured due to an unsafe work environment, our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible financial compensation for your injuries, and to protect the health of your baby. For a free consultation, call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.