Reflections of a pregnant preventionalist

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Ergonomics. Perhaps we do not pay special attention to this speciality. It may not cause serious injury like falling from a scaffold, nor does it cause us an occupational disease such as prolonged exposure to a toxic chemical but … now more than ever I realize how important it is.

For ten years I have been working with the prevention of risks, observing all kinds of situations, evaluating and proposing preventive measures for all kinds of hazards, providing training on, among other factors, the right postures workers must adapt and … What does a woman find when she is pregnant?

  • First, inconvenient commuting: you cannot drive with ease. Although there is a safety belt suitable for pregnant woman, the vehicle is not suitable for it. It is uncomfortable and unsafe driving with a big belly. I agree that teleworking can solve this problem as I have asked for luckily, but not all companies provide for this measure.

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  • In the office or performing tasks with visual database displays: sitting in front of the computer at a regular work desk, I find that if you support the back properly on the back of the chair, you cannot properly reach the keyboard. If you want to reach the keyboard, you risk hitting your belly against the edge of the desk and the possibility of severe back pain when working in that position over 15 minutes. And I wonder, What task can be performed in less than 15 minutes without losing focus and the work pace? It is clear that the pregnant belly prevents us from taking a correct position, not to mention poor circulation due to the legs being in the down position and the inability to keep them up or use a footstool because of mobility limitations that your own belly causes.

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  • Working day: as the day progresses, a pregnant woman feels more fatigue than usual, due to the weight that must be handled, the difficulty of the mobility that is experienced, with the baby continually moving, the physical and mental state generally found, in the factors that make it virtually impossible for you to perform at the same level as in your normal state. We should incorporate longer breaks, decrease concentrated work or redistribute tasks.

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We adapt the workplace to the person using machinery, assembly lines, in cargo handling, etc. Great advances that allow us to work with greater comfort and safety. And yet, it is difficult to adapt the workplace when a person is pregnant, or even change their job, so it is better to opt for the suspension of the contract for risk during pregnancy.

We must ponder, study, work and develop the field of ergonomics for pregnant workers. I believe that risk prevention during pregnancy is vital.

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Anecdotally, I have included a video showing that the father may also feel the pregnancy. Don’t miss it:

Interesting reading: Mechanisms to protect pregnant women from the risks of their jobs

 

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