Guide to Healthy Pregnancies in the Mining Workplace

A Laurentian University & Workplace Safety North Initiative

Sandra C. Dorman, PhD & Céline Boudreau-Larivière, PhD

Mining workplace employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. As the number of female employees increase in the industry, questions
and concerns related to the health and safety of pregnant and breastfeeding employees are becoming more prevalent. An understanding of the potential impact of workplace hazards on the pregnant and breastfeeding employee and her developing fetus and ways to eliminate or reduce the exposure risk are essential.
What is a reproductive hazard?
A hazard is an agent that has the potential to cause harm to a person. A ‘reproductive’ hazard is therefore an agent that can adversely a!ect the reproductive health of women
and men and/or that can negatively impact the growth and development of a fetus. Examples of reproductive problems linked to hazardous agents include infertility, miscarriages, premature labor (<37 weeks gestation), low birth weight and congenital abnormalities of the baby. Hazardous agents are present in both non-occupational and occupational settings.

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