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Care workers and passive smoking

(6 Posts)
karmaz Tue 04-Oct-11 16:12:13

After a very long period of unemployment I have finally got a job. Part of this will be in a day centre and part in the community. The other day had to help a client to smoke 2 cigarettes outside . This affected me straight away as had to hold the 'tube' to her mouth I ended up breathing most of it in. This has now appeared to have kick started my asthma. I have been symptom free with no problems for the last 18 months,until now. I have now refused to do this again and have asked that a smoker takes her outside. There seems to be no problem with this. However soon I will be doing my work in the community. I have been told that many of these people smoke heavily and I could be in their homes for a couple of hours at a time. Where do I stand ? Went to the doctors today and now have new inhalers, he told me to ask my employers to try to put me with non smokers as he said that you can't ask people not to smoke in their own homes. Last time I had asthma I was off work for many months and don't want this to happen again. Anyone been in a similar situation ? I feel that I have to say something to my employers but am unsure as to how to put it, only been there for a couple of weeks and it is so hard to get employment.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 04-Oct-11 16:26:59

poor you. I don't know the answer, but hoping someone else does...

nicky24 Tue 04-Oct-11 18:56:58

I'm sure that you can ask that the SU not smoke whilst you're in the house as it is your workplace. Does your company have a policy on this?

HoneyPablo Tue 04-Oct-11 19:00:39

Your employer has a duty of care towards you, so that your work does not make you ill.
I would request non-smoker clients only.

Grevling Wed 05-Oct-11 10:49:02

The duty of care is to look after your employees as far as possible.

You can ask for no smoking clients but if this isn't practical or not possible then there isn't a lot your employer can do.

DOn't want to sound daft but I'm assuming you've tried standing up wind of the smoker so you shouldn't really get any smoke your way?

karmaz Wed 05-Oct-11 17:04:46

Thanks for the replies. I am having a meeting with my line manager tomorrow and will see what her response will be. Looked into it all and this all seems a very grey area as it is a persons house and not a public place. Believe me Grevling I tried really hard to avoid the smoke but as I had to actually hold the plastic tube directly in the clients mouth there was little chance of getting away from it. But as said refusing to take this person for a cigarette now, will leave it to a smoker. Just hope my employer will have some sympathy for me as can't risk my asthma becoming as bad as it was before. Last time it flared up I was off work for ages.

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