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Heavy Lifting At Work - In Pregnancy

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infoplease1 | 11:17 Wed 21st Aug 2013 | Law
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Hi guys, I have a question regarding pregnancy and was hoping that you guys could help. My girlfriend is 5' 2, 7 & half stone and 7 weeks pregnant. She has been working in a hospital hsdu department 2 years. This involves lifting, loading and pushing trolleys of heavy surgical instrument trays and boxes. She has experienced some abdominal pain and bleeding in the pregnancy and has poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and been instructed by her doctor not to lift heavy loads (been given a note by the doctor - the doctor had written "avoid heavy lifting, should be put on light duties"). However, my girlfriend's boss say that as the note did not specify how much she could lift safely, she spoke with the occupational health nurse who has told her that it is safe to lift up to 30kg in pregnancy. They are doing pretty much nothing to give her lighter work duties.
My girlfriend weighed a box that she had to lift above her head, onto the top of a trolley yesterday and it weighed 10kg but was already straining in order to do so.

In addition, her boss is planning on sending her to a different department where there is less lifting for only 3 weeks. My girlfriend's boss said that she could resume normal duties once she is 12 weeks pregnant and entering into the second trimester. Do you have any advice on this, because she is thinking of complaining to HR but wants to know if she has a leg to stand on? She does not want make the situation more difficult.

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she has legislation to fall back on you know
http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/pregnancy.htm
I think she should go back to the doctor to clarify and she shouldn't be assumed to be ok at 12 weeks, they should wait for doctor to say if and when she can resume
her employer has already contravened the law by making such a statement without requesting any written medical evidence from her GP
for instance, whether an employee is pregnant or not, it is against safety guidelines to lift anyting above your head, anything 10kg should be broken down to be handled. what sort of induction training did she have and wen was the last update? HASAW training should be refreshed every 6 months

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