I decided to look at our local council’s smoking policy, to see what nuggets of stupidity and nannying could be gleaned. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. See the following:
“We also have a legal obligation under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work
Act 1974 to make sure that the workplace is safe for employees.”
Yes you do, but back in 1974, when everyone smoked in the workplace, and the non-smokers just got on with it, this was not a consideration. And all the above is doing is hijacking a piece of policy which was brought in to protect people from real hazards such as machinery, going up tall buildings, asbestos dangers and the rest. As a young pup in the RAF, we came under this and had it hammered into us about the dangers of aircraft props, jet engines, ejection seats etc etc. Strangely enough, smoking was only mentioned as something you didn’t do near aircraft due to the highly explosive fuel they use. In terms of personal enjoyment and relaxation, smoking was almost encouraged (apart from the PI’s, but they hated everyone anyway).It certainly wasn’t meant to be used to justify an anti-smoking policy.
“Employees may ask their manager to carry out an assessment if they feel that
their job means that they come into contact with SHS. Managers must make sure
this assessment takes place. The employee’s health will be the overriding
consideration unless there are very special service needs that suggest otherwise. Managers will support employees who choose not to work in an environment
where smoking is taking place.”
So, Joe Bloggs is supposed to visit that family on that dodgy estate who really need some help with just surviving what life throws at them. They are not bad people, they just need some help for a leg up. But oooh, shock-horror, THEY SMOKE!….IN THE HOUSE!! So Joe goes to his manager and whines that he can’t visit in case of the risk from SHS or THS! And his manager says”there, there Joe, no probs, you don’t have to”. Joe whiney Bloggs gets his way, and another family gets ignored. Of course, if they agreed to give up, then the manager may consider a visit. They smoke because they’re stressed out about life you idiots. You help them, and the stress may reduce and they may reduce their smoking, though god knows why they should. This is akin to those signs you see on the back of Council vans which states “We have zero tolerance to any abuse of our staff”. So when you do a job, get there on time and do it properly. If you dick people about, they WILL get upset and THEY WILL SHOUT AT YOU. It’s called being human, and normal.
“Human Resources should make sure that all person specifications make
reference to the fact that we are a smokefree employer.
The Corporate Health & Safety Adviser will ensure that appropriate references are
made to our policy on smoking during induction training and fire lectures.”
This sounds like positive discrimination against smokers before they even get to the interview. If somehow, you get through this minefield, then you will be bombarded through the 3 day ‘induction’ process about the evils and dangers of smoking, SHS and THS. And what the hell is a ‘person specification’ anyway???
It just goes to show the obsession our councils have with smoking. This is only a snap-shot of the policy. The rest of it goes on and on about protecting people blah, blah blah. Shame they don’t apply as much energy to getting the basics right such as ensuring our roads aren’t full of fucking great holes, all the street lights work, the bins are emptied etc etc.
And the most galling part is WE pay for this drivel.