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Maternity Risk Assessment

Maternity risk assessments

In the workplace there may be very few risks to a pregnant employee, but the risks will be dependent on the role and working environment. The New and Expectant Mothers Standard sets out responsibilities for managers and new and expectant mothers.

  • A risk assessment must be completed using the New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment Tool by the employee’s line manager/supervisor (or other responsible person) in consultation with the pregnant employee.
  • Please also see additional government guidance with regards to pregnancy and COVID-19 and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists' Guidance
  • This assessment should be undertaken as soon as practicably possible after the pregnancy has been confirmed/notified.
  • All risk assessments should be recorded and stored securely by the manager in the employee’s personal file. Copies will be sent to HR for the new or expectant mother’s Personnel record and to the new or expectant mother
  • If any health risks are identified that require additional advice or support, please contact the health and safety manager for your Faculty/Service or the Health and Safety team (H&SO) or the Occupational Health Service (OHS).
  • The risk assessment should be reviewed at reasonable intervals, because risks may vary/change at different stages of the pregnancy.

If an employee has a specific personal concern regarding their health and safety at work whilst pregnant, they can contact the Occupational Health Service directly on a confidential basis. 


Common risks can include:

  • Lifting and carrying loads
  • prolonged working at a computer if using poor posture
  • Shift work
  • Exposure to chemicals, radiation, pathogens, dust, fumes, noise or vibration
  • extremes in temperature
  • overseas travel

Action must be taken if a health risk is identified.

Where possible, adaptations should be put in place to allow a pregnant employee to continue working safely (ie without risk to their health). Where this is not possible, the pregnant employee should be provided suitable alternative work.

Pregnant students

Note, this guidance will also apply to pregnant students. Where pregnant students are involved in activities such as lab-based work, field trips etc, the College should ensure that a risk assessment is completed by an appropriate manager in the College in conjunction with the student as soon as they are notified that the student is pregnant.

If a student has a specific personal concern regarding their health and safety at work whilst pregnant, they should contact the Student Health Centre (or their own GP, if different) in the first instance.