What are the jobs that are particularly harmful to women’s health?

Women must not be employed in particularly arduous work, such as:

  • Work in a cold, hot and variable microclimate (for pregnant and breastfeeding women):
  • work in conditions where the PMV index (expected average rating), determined in accordance with the Polish Standard, is greater than 1.5 or less than – 1.5,
  • work in an environment with sudden changes in air temperature in the range exceeding 15°C.
  • Work in noise and vibration (for pregnant women), i.e. work in conditions of exposure to noise where:
  • the exposure level related to the 8-hour daily or the average weekly working time specified in the Labor Code exceeds the value of 65 dB,
  • the peak C sound level exceeds 130 dB,
  • the maximum A-sound level exceeds 110 dB,
  • Work involving exposure to electromagnetic fields, ionizing and ultraviolet radiation (exceeding ¼ of the maximum permissible intensity of ultraviolet radiation) and work at screen monitors for more than 4 hours a day (for pregnant women). For breastfeeding women – work under the conditions of exposure to ionizing radiation, specified in the provisions of the atomic law.
  • Work underground, below ground and at height.
  • for underground work in all mines, except for work:
  • in managerial positions, not requiring permanent stay underground and performing manual work,
  • in health care,
  • during studies, as part of vocational training,
  • performed casual and not requiring physical work,
  • for pregnant women
  • work at height – apart from permanent galleries, platforms, platforms and other permanent platforms, fully secured against falling (without the need to use personal protective equipment against falling), and climbing and descending ladders and clamps,
  • work in trenches and open reservoirs.
  • Work under increased or reduced pressure. For pregnant or breastfeeding women – the work of divers and all work in conditions of increased or reduced pressure.
  • Work in contact with harmful biological agents (for pregnant or breastfeeding women)
    for work involving the risk of infection with: hepatitis B virus, varicella zoster virus, rubella virus, HIV virus, cytomegalovirus, listeriosis, toxoplasmosis, for work involving the handling of animals affected by infectious and invasive diseases.
  • Work involving exposure to harmful chemicals.

Pregnant and lactating women are forbidden to work in exposure to carcinogens and likely carcinogenic effects, as specified in separate regulations, work in exposure to chloroprene, 2-ethoxyethanol, ethylene dibromide, cytostatic drugs, manganese, 2-methoxyethanol, lead and its organic and inorganic compounds, mercury and its organic and inorganic compounds, styrene, synthetic estrogens and progesterones, carbon disulfide, preparations for plant protection regardless of their concentration in the work environment and work involving exposure to organic solvents, if their concentration in the work environment exceed the values ​​of 1/3 of the maximum concentration limits.

  • Work involving the risk of severe physical and mental injuries (for pregnant or breastfeeding women)
  • for work in a forced work rhythm (for example on a tape),
  • for work inside reservoirs and canals,
  • Work involving the risk of severe physical or mental harm, eg fire fighting, participation in chemical rescue operations, disaster recovery, work with explosives, work at slaughtering farm animals and handling breeders.

  According to the “Labor Code”, an employer hiring a pregnant or breastfeeding employee at the above-mentioned works, the employee is obliged to transfer the employee to another job, and if this is impossible, release her for the time necessary from the obligation to perform work, while the employee retains the right to the current remuneration during the period of release from the obligation to perform work. Moreover, pregnant women must not be employed overtime or at night, and may not be delegated outside their permanent place of work without her consent. On the other hand, a woman caring for a child under the age of four may not be employed overtime or at night without her consent, and may not be delegated outside her regular workplace.

An employee who has received an order to perform work that is forbidden to women may refuse to perform it. In addition, employing women in the work included in the list of jobs forbidden to women is

a violation of the provisions on the protection of women’s work.

Source : opracowanie “Ochrona pracy kobiet”, mgr inż. Paweł Bartuzi, mgr inż. Joanna Kamińska, CIOP-PIB 


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