Pregnant Workers, Chemicals and the Law

15 February 2010

Enquiries received by the Royal Society of Chemistry indicate there is a need for basic information about the legal situation regarding pregnant workers and chemicals. This Note is designed to answer this need. It does not pretend to be a full or definitive guide to the subject and readers are urged to obtain more detailed guidance if this is required. This Note is an update of an earlier version first issued in 1997.

Current health and safety legislation requires the identification of hazards and the assessment, management and control of risks to persons at work. The European Union believes that particular groups of workers may be at special risk and has proposed that additional legislation is needed to protect such groups. For one such group the European Union Directive 92/85/EEC, The Pregnant Workers Directive, requires: Member States to introduce measures to encourage the improvement in the health and safety of pregnant workers and others who have recently given birth or are breast feeding.

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Dr Steven Lipworth
Health, Safety and Environment Policy Adviser
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7440 3337
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7734 1227
Email: Dr Steven Lipworth