Ergonomic Hazards

by Guest
Posted August 10 2010 02:39pm
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Here are some precautions you can take to protect yourself from ergonomic hazards you may be exposed to at work. 

  • Talk with your doctor or midwife about the ergonomic hazards that you think your job may involve.
  • Think about modifying your work or ask for a temporary job transfer, if possible.
  • Strenuous work should be limited.


The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends limiting the following aspects of work:

  • Standing: Prolonged (>4 hours) after 24 weeks gestation and intermittent (>30 min/hour) after 32 weeks gestation.
  • Stooping or Bending: Repetitive (>10 times/hour) after 20 weeks gestation or intermittent (> 2 time/hour) after 28 weeks.
  • Climbing of Ladders or Poles: Repetitive (>3 times/shift) after 20 weeks gestation or intermittent (>3 times/shift) after 28 weeks gestation.  
  • Stair Climbing: Repetitive (>3 times/shift) after 20 weeks gestation.  
  • Lifting: Repetitive (>23 kg or 50 lbs) after 20 weeks gestation, repetitive (>11 kg or 24 lbs) after 24 weeks gestation or during the last trimester of pregnancy. At this stage, avoid even intermittent lifting, especially if it involves stooping, bending or tightening the groin muscles.

Here are some other exposures you should be aware of at work. 

Acknowledgement: Pregnancy and the Workplace: Health Risks and Issues by Niagara Regional Public Health  Workplace Management and Social Environment Hazards. 



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Workplace Management and Social Environment Hazards

by Guest
Posted August 10 2010 02:40pm
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Some precautions a pregnant woman might take include:

  • Work with your supervisor and co-workers to reduce your workload during pregnancy.
  • Do not try to overcompensate for upcoming pregnancy/maternity leave by doing extra work in advance in order to lighten the impact of your leaving. The stress of doing this is not good for you or your baby.
  • Decline most requests for evening and weekend work. Pregnancy is demanding on your mind and body, and you need your rest and relaxation. 
  • If there are office policies or procedures that are having a negative impact on you, speak to your supervisor. Try to change them or receive an exemption during your pregnancy.

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Scheduling Hazards

by Maxine
Posted August 10 2010 02:41pm
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Some precautions a pregnant couple can take:

  • If shift work or night work is necessary, find ways to reduce its impact—like resting during breaks—or attempt to reduce all other risk factors.
  • Consider having work reduced hours or taking some leave during pregnancy.
  • Consider less stressful ways of commuting, for example, carpooling instead of public transit.
  • Use your breaks and mealtimes to rest, stretch, move around and go to the bathroom.  

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Exposures at Work

by Maxine
Posted August 10 2010 02:43pm
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Generally, it is quite safe for a pregnant woman to continue working during pregnancy. Most pregnant women can continue their duties at work without increased health risks to themselves and their unborn babies, and without any decrease in overall productivity.

There are, however, certain hazards in the workplace that can contribute to health problems for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Many occupations have special hazards, where it is helpful to take precautions during pregnancy. Hazards could be biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic, workplace management and social environment and scheduling.

What Can We Do?

Learning about all these hazards and exposures can be overwhelming! How can you protect yourself and your baby?
Below is a list of some suggested precautions. Click on the type of hazard and check out the suggestions.

Biological Hazards:
Viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasitic infections

Chemical Hazards:
Substances that you inhale, swallow or absorb through the skin

Physical Hazards:
Excessive noise, temperature extremes, vibration or barometric pressure changes

Ergonomic Hazards:
Poor ergonomic design, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and lifting

Workplace management and social environment hazards:
Work-related stress, smoking policies and management style

Scheduling Hazards:
Shift work, long hours or unpredictable work times

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