• Mr Ed
    0
    Hi all.
    I have a quick and hopefully simple question.
    We are a mechanical workshop of 5.
    We have one worker that decides that it is his right to smoke where ever he sees fit. In the workshop, toliet, smoko area...etc etc.
    I have layed a complaint to the business owner, his reply is that he is unsure how to deal with this issue without upsetting this particular employee. In other words he doesnt want to deal with the conflict.

    Who do I contact to get this conflict sorted.
    I am in my right to work in a smoke free workplace.
    Im unsure how to fix this with out it becoming a issue between workers.
  • Tony Walton
    51
    Hi Mr Ed, a horse is a horse of course of course. He cannot smoke inside a workplace - it's illegal. Go to the Smokefree Environments Act - it gives you advice on what to do - http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0108/latest/DLM223191.html?search=ta_act_S_ac%40ainf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_25_a&p=2
  • Steve H
    13
    We have one worker that decides that it is his right to smoke where ever he sees fit. In the workshop, toliet, smoko area...etc etc.

    Would this worker be a long term employee of the business you work for? Sounds like it might be a case of Pet Ratitis, this is where an employee seems to hold sway over a business owner, and pretty much gets away with doing what ever they want.

    Have a look at Clauses 17 to 18, you'll need to provide evidence of smoking taking place ( are there signs prohibiting it? mentioned in your H&S docs? You'll want some witnesses, and a video/photograph or two wouldn't hurt, probably want to capture those "inadvertently" while taking pix of a project or other employee (with their consent). Your employer then has 40 days to sort out/stop the problem child otherwise push it up food chain to the Director General of Health, who has the power to cause it to be investigated
  • Michael Wilson
    65
    Managers need to manage. This is not about the staff member, it is about the owner not being willing to manage their staff.
  • Allister Rose
    1
    If WorkSafe aren’t going to protect our workplaces what hope do you have with the smoke free regulatory body. You may as well join the employee and light up in the spirit of “if you can’t beat them , join them”
  • Clare Lynn
    1
    Your local Public Health will be able to provide some resources and workplace support. They will be listed on your local hospital (DHB) website. Many people can find second hand smoke to be a respiratory irritant so it is not OK to share the same space within the workplace.
  • Derek Miller
    26
    It can be woorth pointing out that nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30%.
  • Denise
    12
    All employers are required to comply with the Smoke Free Environments Act and clients would have an expectation that the workplace would be safe to enter.

    It sounds like your business needs to communicate your Company expectations better i.e. Company Smoking Policy and a meeting with staff to communicate the change and why (to meet your Companies legal responsibilities, safeguard staff and clients health, reputation etc). The Smoke free Environments Act is a great resource for wording your Policy.

    Ensure smoke free signs have been placed at entry areas and designated smoke free areas. Also with fuels and flammables around this may assist to determine additional areas required to be smoke free. This Policy would apply to everyone working in and entering the workplace - workers, owners, clients, subcontractors etc so make sure it is well communicated.
  • Steve H
    13
    If WorkSafe aren’t going to protect our workplaces what hope do you have with the smoke free regulatory body. You may as well join the employee and light up in the spirit of “if you can’t beat them , join them”Allister Rose

    Yes, OP is probably on a hiding to hell to get his boss (the business owner) to tell the Pet Rat to pull his head in and only smoke in the designated area.

    After a number of years in different businesses,I've found the ones with morale problems, which usually translate into productivity and problems with the Pet Rat not following H&S rules etc,are unsolvable unless the company owner (or Directors) can be got on board and are prepared to follow due process to liberate the Pet Rat to the wild.

    This typically doesn't happen because the Pet Rat went to school with the boss, or is believed to possess knowlege/skills etc which will spell the end of the business if Ratty is sacked. Generally this isn't the case but perception is reality

    All employers are required to comply with the Smoke Free Environments Act and clients would have an expectation that the workplace would be safe to enter.Denise
    Technically, there is a bunch of legislation that businesses must comply with, but these are rarely enforced unless there is a catastrophic failure and even then perhaps not
  • Tracy Richardson
    6
    Find a designated area for smoking away from the workshop and people. Put an ashtray there. And ensure the employee keeps the area clean
  • G K Andrews
    0
    Mr Ed

    Rather than throwing legislation at him because this is going to cause a very disharmonious and potentially acrid workplace atmosphere and can then lead on to more open displays of hostility from your work colleague.
    Appeal, in the first place, to his sense or any sense of social responsibilty; unsue of your familial situation but if you have a wife/partner and/or children, to go home to, then tjhis can be used as leverage to support the idea of secondary intake of his actions that could possibly affecting your own health which then has a flow on effect on your family.
    Also, talk to the other three work colleagues and see if you can get their support or at least the support of one, when and if you decide to confront this person. This approach and the manner in which you deliver your message, will hopefully have a successful outcome otherwise, the rules and regulations as mentioned by previous correspondants, may and will have to suffice, but don't expect a positive outcome from this person.
  • MattD2
    116
    I would also add to think about understanding why the worker smokes within the workshop in the first place. Typically a smoke is used as a good time for a break, does he take breaks throughout the day or is he always on the go? Does he feel like he doesn't have time to go out for a quick smoke? If he feels / is seen as a critical cog in keeping the workshop turning over then that may be part of the reason why he feels that he should be able to keep working while he's smoking a ciggy.
  • Sheri Greenwell
    185
    That's such a great approach!
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