Pregnancy and working in warm or cold environments

These guidelines apply to pregnant employees and students who are working in environments with severe heat or cold, and their leaders.

Norsk versjon - Gravide og arbeid i varme eller kulde

Topic page about HSE | Pages labelled with pregnancy


Information for pregnant employees/students

Pregnant employees/students should be particularly careful when working in facilities with heat or cold, and be aware of the effects that these temperatures can have on them and their foetus.

See also the general guidelines about pregnancy during work or studies, accommodation, leave and more

Information for leaders

Exposure to heat or cold can be unfavourable for pregnant women and their foetuses. Take this into consideration if you are responsible for pregnant employees or students.

The pregnant employee/student's own view of the situation should also be part of the assessment of the working conditions. If the pregnant employee/student wants alternative tasks or a relocation, the employer should comply with these wishes when possible.

See also the general guidelines about accommodation, risk assessment, leave and more

Working in extreme temperatures

  • Pregnant women are more sensitive to heat and can easily faint or be exposed to stress caused by heat.
  • Working temperatures of above 35°C can damage the foetus' development. Such temperatures can occur in glass blowing workshops, swimming baths, in the proximity of large industrial furnaces, in greenhouses during the summer, etc.
  • Working in severe cold usually does not cause danger to the foetus, as long as the mother is properly dressed and feels well. Extreme cold can cause danger to pregnant women and their foetus.
  • The risk of effects from severe temperatures increases with sudden changes in temperature.

Before pregnancy

Before the pregnancy, both parents' working environment is important. The female's and male's reproductive cells can be damaged before the fertilisation has taken place. Working environment conditions rarely cause a risk of damage to reproductive cells, but we know that male sperm cells are sensitive to heat. Additional information about this subject can be found on the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority's facts page about pregnancy and working environment (in Norwegian).


NTNU regulations




Approved by the Director of HSE – 25 August 2014 – HMSRV5105E – ePhorte 2014/.....