Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Smoking liaison officer for NHS Tayside abused at work

I would not like to be in the shoes of anyone who is on the wrong end of abuse at work. But really, what is NHS Tayside doing, appointing somebody called a Smoking Liaison Officer to ensure that no one smokes on its sites in the face of reports that staff smoking on hospital sites is increasing?

Other hospitals have acknowledged that they can't prevent on-site smoking.

Workers who continue to smoke at work now risk committing the aggravated offence of being insolent to somebody who appears to have been appointed simply in order to ensure that they comply with a restriction on smoking in the open air, and to start disciplinary proceedings against any who refuse to do so.
Mr Marr added: ''Please note that the use of abusive language will not be tolerated, will be deemed as unacceptable behaviour, could be viewed as gross misconduct and will be addressed in accordance with the Dignity at Work Policy."

Where is any concern for the dignity of health care workers who like to smoke during the working day? Where were the unions when all this was being discussed? How does management get away with making such an inroad on terms and conditions of employment, imposed unilaterally?

All this could be avoided with the use of comfortable and well ventilated indoor smoking areas. But oh, no. We can't be seen to condone smoking. We prefer focus our resources on disciplining smokers.

1 comment:

Neil Mackenzie said...

So. What can be done when some little Hitler thinks they can impose a ban on members of the public discretely and unobtrusively, safely and harmlessly self medicating their legally acquired disease (that is nicotine addiction) as they are legally free to do by means of vaping anywhere and any time they feel any inclination or need to?

The NHS Fife spokesperson is, simply, lying about having identified "Potential fire and safety risks". There is no way that the heating element of a vapouriser (e-cig) could ignite bedding or clothing. That's a complete fiction. You know why people who use vapourisers for their nicotine fix, instead of cigarettes, don't need ashtrays? It's because nothing gets burnt in the process and there's no ash.

I don't believe bans on using glycol-vapour based electronic nicotine delivery systems (yes, I went there) such as NHS Fife or Lothian Buses have any legal status and can be ignored. They are, legally, nothing more than a rude objection by private individuals to other private individuals' behaviour. It doesn't matter if it can, sometimes, look like smoking from a distance. It isn't smoking.