HSE adaptations during prenancy

Foto/illustrasjon: UiB

The Department’s HSE handbook has a chapter on adaptations during pregnancy, please see below for the updated guidelines.  The HSE handbook can always be found on our internal staff information page at MittUiB:


Pregnant women should inform their supervisor as soon as possible during pregnancy so that any necessary arrangements can be made. The supervisor is often the first to be notified and they should therefore be aware that a risk assessment of the pregnant woman’s work must be carried out. Procedure for risk assessment and safe job analysis (SJA) is available at the HSE-gateway.

In accordance with the Working Environment Act on a safe working environment and the UiB’s work instruction for pregnant and breastfeeding women a risk assessment of the employee’s work must be carried out. A risk assessment should focus on known conditions that may entail risks during pregnancy such as working with dangerous chemicals, biological exposure, and exposure to ionizing radiation. When carrying out a risk assessment, the opinion of the pregnant woman must be considered. In addition, the safety delegate can assist in the risk assessment.  If needed an inspection can be carried out for the best possible arrangement of the workplace.

Pregnancy and chemicals

The pregnant woman should familiarise herself with the chemicals used in the laboratory and familiarise herself with the hazard statement associated with the various chemicals. All chemicals at BIO are registered in EcoOnline, and it is possible to draw up reports on which chemicals pose a risk potential for pregnant women.

Pregnant women should avoid working with chemicals that can be harmful to fetal development, but also chemicals that are carcinogenic, cytostatic or radioisotopes. Special care should be considered while handling toxic chemicals without any hazard statements towards pregnancy. In addition, pregnant women should avoid heavy lifting, this can especially occur in connection with research cruises and field work.

Hazard statements also apply to those who plan/want to have children.

Hazard code Hazard statement
H340 May cause genetic damage
H341 Suspected of causing genetic defects
H350 May cause cancer
H351 Suspected of causing cancer
H350i May cause cancer by inhalation
H360 May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child
H362 May cause harm to breast fed children
H361 Suspected of damaging fertility. Suspected of damaging the unborn child.
H370 Causes damages to organs
H371 May cause damage to organs
H372 Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
H373 May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure

More information regarding pregnancy and chemicals is available on the HSE-gateway.

If a risk assessment shows that the pregnant woman may be exposed to health-hazardous chemicals in the work environment, then the pregnant woman must, by agreement with her immediate supervisor, be able to choose not to work in an environment with possible exposure. Further information is available on Arbeidstilstynet.

Please contact your local HSE safety delegate if you need to talk things through with a third person.

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