Protecting pregnancy at work: Normative safety measures and employees' safety strategies in reconciling work and pregnancy

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_A1643BC84CCF
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Protecting pregnancy at work: Normative safety measures and employees' safety strategies in reconciling work and pregnancy
Journal
Safety Science
Author(s)
Abderhalden-Zellweger Alessia, Probst Isabelle, Politis Mercier Maria-Pia, Danuser Brigitta, Krief Peggy
ISSN
0925-7535
Publication state
Published
Issued date
10/2021
Volume
142
Pages
105387
Language
english
Abstract
Background: In Switzerland, occupational risks for pregnant workers are covered by specific maternity protection legislation (MPL); however, studies show significant shortcomings in the implementation of these policies among companies. Aims: Analyse the gaps between the provisions of Switzerland's MPL, the protective measures companies plan to take and actual protection practices. We also aim to understand how employees develop their own strategies in order to make up for the shortcomings or contradictions of companies' measures. Methods: Interviews with 46 different stakeholders from organisations in the healthcare sector and the food industry were transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: Some of the organisations used procedures apparently in line with legislation, while others planned more informal approaches to managing on a case-by-case basis. Normative safety measures within the framework of national legislation served as resources for both managers and their employees. However, implementing these measures ran up against real-world workplace constraints, which sometimes rendered them impracticable. Employees adapted some measures considered insufficient or developed their own strategies to reconcile work and pregnancy. Conclusions: Being pregnant is challenging to represent in occupational settings; it is not a disease, but it involves important physical and biopsychosocial changes, which affect women's occupational life. The multidimensional, evolving, and yet temporary nature of pregnancy represents a significant challenge to the implementation of MPL within companies. Linking the normative safety measures stipulated in the legislation with pregnant employees' needs-and their job-related knowledge and skills-could be an interesting pathway towards improving maternity protection at work.
Keywords
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Safety Research, Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
09/08/2021 10:06
Last modification date
20/08/2021 6:40
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