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Biomechanical and organisational constraints of pregnant women at work: definition of exposure levels using a consensus method (Delphi)

Abstract : OBJECTIVES: To identify the biomechanical and organisational constraints that influence pregnancy outcomes and define the exposure levels at which the risks for pregnancy become significant. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: We applied a consensus method (Delphi) consisting of a literature review followed by expert opinions on exposure levels. The group of experts was made up of 12 people from different medical specialities and working in various structures in France. OUTCOME MEASURES: The studied variables were: (1) exposure: night work/shift work, weekly hours at work, lifting of heavy loads, prolonged standing and multiple exposure and (2) pregnancy outcomes: prematurity, low birth weight and spontaneous miscarriages. RESULTS: The consensus method resulted in the following recommendations. The time spent working must not exceed 40 hours/week; in the absence of a consensus on the level of exposure, night and/or shift work must be avoided; prolonged standing must not exceed 3 hours/day; lifting must be limited to carrying loads <11 kg, with a daily load <100 kg; multiple exposure must be avoided, in particular: vibration, night work/shift work, time spent working exceeding 40 hours/week, prolonged standing and lifting of heavy loads. CONCLUSIONS: These results could help the occupational physician to address the question of whether an exposed employee should remain at work, considering her individual characteristics (medical history, family situation, socioeconomic level, etc) in consultation with pregnancy specialists (obstetricians, midwives).
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Submitted on : Friday, May 6, 2022 - 1:03:36 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 10:38:44 AM


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Thomas Certenais, Raphaëlle Teysseire, Ronan Garlantézec, Patrick Brochard, Guyguy Manangama, et al.. Biomechanical and organisational constraints of pregnant women at work: definition of exposure levels using a consensus method (Delphi). BMJ Open, BMJ Publishing Group, 2022, 12 (3), pp.e052474. ⟨10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052474⟩. ⟨hal-03610886⟩



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