Are there any risks specific to breastfeeding mothers that employers must consider?
Yes, a particular risk is exposure to substances such as lead, organic solvents, pesticides and radioactive material. These substances could be passed on to a mother's breastfeeding child through her milk and cause the child harm.
The employer should also consider other potential risks to a breastfeeding mother, for example inadequate access to food, water and toilet facilities, because breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to increase fluid and food intake to promote breast milk production. As a result of the increased intake, breastfeeding women may need to go to the toilet more frequently.
Employers have a specific obligation to provide an area for breastfeeding employees to rest, so the risk assessment process should ensure that the employer provides adequate facilities.