If you have suffered a workplace injury while pregnant, contact a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to understand your rights.
Employers always have to pay close attention to the safety and well-being of their employees and pregnant women need special attention as their health, and the health of their babies can be at higher risk. This is especially true if your work involves hazardous chemicals, heavy lifting or a potentially dangerous environment.
Employers must be aware of their legal obligations to pregnant workers. Failure to do so could result in hefty compensation claims if the pregnant employee or their unborn child suffers an injury. It is understandable that they won’t hesitate to seek advice from a St Louis work injury lawyer to claim compensation.
Pregnant Women in the Workplace
Health and safety laws and guidelines are aimed at general workers and may not cover the extra measures that are needed when a woman is pregnant. However, an employer needs to be aware of the differences and increased dangers to a pregnant woman compared to other workers.
- At a greater risk of absorbing chemicals – When a woman is pregnant, her metabolism increases. This means that she may absorb some chemicals at a greater rate than people who are not pregnant. Metals in particular are absorbed at a much higher rate during pregnancy.
- Safety equipment and clothing may not fit – If employees wear safety equipment or lab coats etc. it should be kept in mind that when a woman is pregnant, they may need larger sized clothing. The employee may simply go without their safety clothing as theirs become uncomfortably tight and the employer will be liable if they don’t wear it due to their negligence in providing fitting clothing and they or their baby is harmed in any way.
- Pregnancy alters the immune system and lung capacity – Change to the immune system during pregnancy leaves pregnant women at greater risk of illnesses. Lung capacity is also decreased.
- Pregnancy weakens ligaments – When pregnant, the ligaments become weaker and are put under more pressure. This makes a pregnant woman more likely to suffer an injury.
An employer should note that the early stages of the pregnancy put both mom and baby at greater risk, so more care and caution should be taken at this time. If a pregnant employee has duties that involve hazardous materials or heavy lifting, then the employer needs to excuse them from these tasks while they are pregnant.
The employer should identify potential hazards in the workplace that could affect a pregnant worker. They can request a health hazard evaluation from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Injured in the Workplace While Pregnant
If you have suffered a workplace injury while pregnant, contact an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to understand your rights.
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we can provide you with the necessary information to make the right choices so that you can receive the best medical care, benefits and income. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.