Any pregnant chemistry analysts

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mumsy2 Posts: 62
heres my story, i'm a microbiologist but due to re structuring within the lab departments i'm being trained in chemistry. my main concern is working with all the chemicals and the harm they could be doing to my baby. theres one that i know i'm not supposed to go near (lead nitrate) but i'm just worried about all the other chemical i'll be using. i'm 6 weeks tomorrow and have informed my occupational health nurse who will be doing a risk assesment with me on monday, but i'm still not comfortable pursing my training until i know for sure. i've emailed my boss about this (as i'm on nights tonight) and he emailed me back to say how he has asked around to see if there is anything of danger to me. now i'm thinking has he gone and said i'm pregnant if he has checked this out or in what terms has he checked these chemicals out. most of the chemicals are fine for a normal person because they wouldn't be working with them other wise eg lead nitrate is fine for a normal person but not a pregnant woman so is the same applying to all the others but i'm really concerned about it. my boss wants to pursue my training asap etc etc and this just makes me ill. am i not entitled to a full risk assement first without being obliqued to work with chemicals that could be putting my baby at risk. i'm so furious with him that i feel like ringing in sick until i'm 12 weeks. i really don't want to do it as i'm only back from maternity leave 5 weeks. do i say i want to resign my position in this new restructuring and asked to be moved to a different position within the department. so confused dunno what to do. i'm so fed up with the place.
wedjul05 Posts: 5673
hey mumsy, I work, well when I'm not on ML, in a lab. It's not a testing lab but we do handle every product in the company and every raw material that goes into the products and everything else in between including GMM material so I came into contact with alot of chemicals/substances. I did a HUGE risk assessment when I was pg on DS. I can't rem exactly but I think there was only 1 chemcial that posed a risk and of course I can't rem the name!! Sorry. Do you have a HR dept that you could discuss this with? Your boss shouldn't be telling anyone your situation, he SHOULD be doing his job and just asking discretely mentioning no names. Wait and see what he comes back with. You could say you aren't comfortable working until you get a complete risk assessment done. You would be fully entitled to do this. He can't say anything/do anything to you as it's well within your rights. I'm sure there is sth on health and safety websites re this. Don't resign just yet, please! You are totally in the right and you are DEAD right to be concerned. Chemicals can be sooo dangerous and we don't even know it. Are you in work over the weekend too??
mumsy2 Posts: 62
i'm in work now and i'll be again tomorrow night. i'm so fed up i could kill the fecker if i had him in my hands. i've been saying to the guy that works with me i've been going for tests etc but i'm just wondering will everyone else twig and put 2 & 2 together if my boss is going around saying if they are any chemicals a pregnant person shouldn't be working with. in what context did he check it out. feel like ringing the fecker now who is all loved up at home and roaring down the phone at him. maybe i should email the ehs dep and cc my boss or am i just going to cause an eruption and the whole place find out i'm preggers which i really don't want
wedjul05 Posts: 5673
hey, well i'd email EHS/Occ health (they;d be ALL about your & babs welfare so i'd explain seperately) explain your concerns and state that until you know for sure, you'd rather not put your baby at risk. Then email boss seperately explaining to him also. Just be to the point, short. Make a note of saying that of course it all confidential and you ensure your privacy will be maintained etc etc. It's up to him to make the excuses if you are not working and sure you could sue him I'm sure if he went around telling people you were pg. Get any depts to ring you at home on your mobile to update you and say you would rather know what's going to happen before you return to work next week or whenever. It's so annoying to have to deal with useless people like this. I work for a large pharmaceutical company and they were great about it all. I hope you get it sorted soon :lvs edited to say p.s I feel your pain working nights, I did 12hr night/day shifts for 2.5 years but that was 3 years ago. But you have a LO already and now you're pg! Do you think you will keep working nights? Fair play to you!! Gonna go have a shower and get ready for bed. hope you have a good night anyway.
mumsy2 Posts: 62
thanks for that. i think i will email ehs tonight. i'd never forgive myself if anything went wrong all for not sticking up for myself. i hope i'm not over reacting but i feel i do have a right esp since i have informed my boss bout being pregnant.
cavanmum Posts: 211
I'm not a chemistry analyst but I do work routinely work with chemicals. The nurse in my company carried out a risk assessment as soon as I told them I was pregnant. There were about three chemicals that were harmful to the unborn child. I can't remember the specific names but they go into products that I don't deal with. You should have an MSDS available for every chemical on site. If you are worried about any chemicals check the MSDS and it will have details on if it is harmful to the unborn child. Maybe your boss searched through these. As long as you avoid these chemicals, wear proper safety equipment and are careful handling all chemicals I don't think they will cause you or your baby a problem. I have been working in laboratories for over 10 years. I am careful as I always was and I am not worried about working with chemicals now that I am pregnant. I would also chat to your doctor about this and maybe ask if you could have your risk assessment sooner. I hope your company manage to get their act together. I would make sure to impress on your boss that you don't want anyone else to know you are pregnant and that anything you discuss is confidential. I hope this is of help. This is a worrying enough time without your company adding to the stress.
mumsy2 Posts: 62
i'm here now trying to think what way to word my email to ehs. really don't wnt to tell them i'm pregnant but i think they might guess it anyway. i hope my boss hasn't gone and said it to anyone else.i'm just going to say to ehs for medical reasons its not good that i work with the chemicals until i have an assesment done with the site nurse but yet my "boss" who now thinks he is the "site nurse" since he has supposingly done all the homework as to be able to tell me that its fine to work away. i'm sorry but since when has he become occupational health and safety- what can i expect any way from a man. it will look like when i email ehs that i've hung him out to dry but as the guy who works with me said thats what their job is.
mumsy2 Posts: 62
well i emailed EHS and explain the situation ie due to a medical condition its not best that i work with chemicals until after assesment on monday but that my group leader wasn't having none of it. i asked that they might have a word with him as i felt what difference was 2 more days going to make. God forbid is this pregnancy doesn't work out i'd be kicking myself afterwards. can't believe what a langer of a boss i have. i just told him by email and txt that i was getting onto EHS so it now looks like he is forcing me into something that i'm not comfortable with. i just hope he doesn't tell EHS whats up with me. hope i'm not over reacting. i prob won't have any luck for this but i just felt i needed to. just waiting now til later to find out. heading home to bed soon. i'm absolutely shattered can't keep my eyes open.
wedjul05 Posts: 5673
morning, you are prob asleep at the mo! Don't worry about your stoopid boss, you are totally within your rights to get the risk assessment done and to refuse his word only for it. Don't worry also about EHS knowing you are pg, they should keep it confidential also. I know my EHS/occ health/supvervisor kept it all confidential until I was 12 weeks. You're not over reacting at all, sure you're only doing what's best for your baby and nobody can fault that. Hopefully it will all be sorted soon.
Beaubelle Posts: 741
Hi Mumsy, You are definitely entitled to a risk assessment in your situation, and if the risks cannot be removed, you are entitled to health and safety leave. Another thing that is mentioned on the risk assessment for HSL is nightwork... Your employer should be able to readjust your hours to avoid nightwork. My line of work involves dealing with dangerous drugs... Some that could cause abortion so there was no way I was taking the risk. And many of these drugs I couldn't have performed my job without, as they were used on a daily basis. I would just be concerned because chemicals can have effects transcutaneously and though you may be incredibly careful, are you ever 100% sure that you are eliminating contact with them? Not trying to be a scaremonger.... Hope you get on ok with your boss... If it's any consolation, my boss was difficult to deal with too!
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