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AIBU about smoking at work?

(23 Posts)
pushingthroughcracks Sun 16-Apr-17 21:10:36

It's entirely possible there is absolutely nothing that can be done here smile

Here is my situation. I work in healthcare. Part of my role involves going to people's homes.

Many of the homes I go into have people who smoke heavily. I am reluctant to sound precious but it is affecting my health. I have a cough that won't go away.

Surely given people realise we have to visit them at home it is reasonable for them to have a room smoke-free? My eyes and throat are stinging sad

MitzyLeFrouf Sun 16-Apr-17 21:13:05

How long does a visit last and how many of these visits do you carry out each day? I'm afraid that yes it would be unreasonable to dictate how someone smokes in their own home.

redexpat Sun 16-Apr-17 21:13:42

Ugh. I feel for you. I can no longer go to DHs aunts house as it leaves me gasping for my inhaler and a migraine.

Can you get another job?

PurpleDaisies Sun 16-Apr-17 21:15:50

You can't ask someone not to smoke in their own home. You have my sympathies because being a non-smoker in a place that reeks of cigarettes is not particularly pleasant but if the person you're seeing isn't smoking in front of you, I'd expect that's the best you can hope for.

LostSight Sun 16-Apr-17 21:16:41

Have you been to a doctor? A cough that won't go away could be any number of things.

HirplesWithHaggis Sun 16-Apr-17 21:17:15

Are you on a set schedule? Perhaps you could ask people not to smoke for half an hour before you're due, and to open a window for that time (weather dependent).

pushingthroughcracks Sun 16-Apr-17 21:18:56

It isn't getting another job situation - it took me years to qualify and while technically i could elicit to be purely hospital based the advantages are considerable.

The cough is smoking related.

PurpleDaisies Sun 16-Apr-17 21:20:36

How do you know your cough is smoking related?

Have you seen occupational health?

MrsTwix Sun 16-Apr-17 21:20:39

happy2bhomely Sun 16-Apr-17 21:21:02

I think the law is that the smoking ban does not apply to care workers etc who visit people in their homes, but I know that our council asks people not to smoke for 2 hours prior to workmen coming to do a job.

I think the best you could hope for is someone not smoking while you are there.

BounceBounceSplishSplash Sun 16-Apr-17 21:21:16

Do they actually smoke in your presence or are you just sitting in a room that smells of smoke? If it's the former, ask them not to do so. If it's the latter, I don't understand how they can cause a cough?

highinthesky Sun 16-Apr-17 21:23:12

Get risk assessed by your occupational health team. If they say you should work in a smoke-free environment, then perhaps your caseload can be adapted.

Although it would mean that some other poor sod would be lumbered with these smokey patients instead.

MrsTwix Sun 16-Apr-17 21:24:13

LostSight Sun 16-Apr-17 21:25:27

The cough is smoking related.

Do you mean you have asthma (for example) and the smoke exacerbates it? Do you only cough when / after visiting these houses? Have you a diagnosis/seen a doctor?

Can you ask your employer whether there is any strategy they recommend? It's presumably a health and safety issue if it is affecting you in this way.

longlostpal Sun 16-Apr-17 21:30:27

If it's practical (i.e. you're not in a precarious position employment-wise) speak to your HR department about possible strategies? Or do you have a union who could advise on your rights/options?

pushingthroughcracks Sun 16-Apr-17 21:42:59

I never cough when not at work. I go into someone's smoke filled home and cannot stop coughing smile

The visits vary by and large. It is a tricky one because I respect it is their home: at the same time to all intents and purposes it's also my workplace for some of my working week.

SpreadYourHappiness Sun 16-Apr-17 21:49:55

It's a disgusting habit and very selfish. It's completely unfair for you to have to work in such circumstances.

Since it's affecting your health, I think you have the right to veto any smoke-filled homes. If everyone does it, maybe people may start taking their own health a little more seriously.

chocolateworshipper Sun 16-Apr-17 21:50:01

Is there any advice available from management or from a union?

CantChoose Sun 16-Apr-17 21:51:05

If you have a google you should be able to find a recent ish court case about this. I think it was a community psych team. The outcome was that they had to risk assess it and eventually a policy was brought in that clients wre asked to abstain from smoking for around 2.5 hours before an expected visit.
Something along those lines anyway! Have you checked that your employer doesn't already have a policy about it?

SomethingBorrowed Sun 16-Apr-17 22:00:31

This is between you and your employer I'm afraid. You can't dictate what your patients do at home (except not asking them to smoke when you are there). Your company might be able to only send you to smoke free homes if you have a letter from GP stating it is a health issue.

pushingthroughcracks Sun 16-Apr-17 22:02:54

I don't work for a company. It's a contractual arrangement.

honeyfull Sun 16-Apr-17 22:03:40

Wear a mask. Put vaseline up your nasal passages.

Or get another job.

PurpleDaisies Sun 16-Apr-17 22:06:01

You must have someone giving you the contract though?

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