ILO publishes guidelines on reproductive hazards

In order for work to be decent, women workers need to be protected during
maternity ­ protected from losing their jobs and protected from any risks to
their health or that of their babies. This guide looks at maternity protection
in the workplace, focusing on measures that can be taken to ensure a healthy
beginning for both the mother and her child.

The starting point is the Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183), which was
adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2000, in particular, the
health protection measures that are foreseen in the Convention and its
accompanying Recommendation (No. 191). The material in this guide sets out
basic principles and, in an effort to be relevant to a maximum number of
settings, provides a wide range of information on reproductive hazards and how
to prevent harm. Annexes provide a choice of practical tools which will be
helpful in identifying workplace risks and fi nding solutions.

This is not a medical guide ­ it is designed for general use, mainly in
workplaces in the formal economy. It is meant as a reference tool for
employers, workers, trade union leaders, occupation health and safety advisors,
labour inspectors, NGOs, women's organizations and anyone else with an interest
in workplace health and maternity protection. ILO hopes it will help them
undertake practical action to improve maternity protection and health at

Improving maternal health and reducing child mortality are among the eight
Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Reducing the work-related
risks for pregnant and breastfeeding workers and their children can contribute
to achieving these goals. This publication is thus a small contribution by the
ILO to the worldwide effort to reach the millennium goals by 2015.

Table of contents:

  1. Maternity matters
  2. International standards on maternity protection
  3. How life
  4. Reproductive hazards at

    • Biological agents
    • Chemical agents
    • Physical agents
    • Physical and mental demands
    • Working conditions
    • Workplace safety and hygiene

  5. Occupational risks in different sectors
  6. Taking action and preventing harm
  7. Promoting healthy maternity

Further information

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work