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Working conditions, please help(8 Posts)
Hi can anyone out there advise me at all or tell me if I'm just being plain unreasonable and precious? I am 16 weeks pregnant.
I have a job that involves cold calling to houses in a deprived area. The place I work has not done a risk assessment for me despite me asking. They have told me to go where I feel comfortable. The problem is I never really know if the situation is ok until I get there. The issue I have is that a lot of the homes smell strongly of smoke and often cannibis. Although I tried to avoid going into the home I can still smell the smoke/cannibis on the doorstep. I will only be exposed to a minute amount but I'm still feeling really upset that I'm being put in this position in the first place. I wouldn't choose to be around second hand smoke or cannibis in my personal life so why is it right that I'm being exposed to it in my working life? I am continuing to do my job because I don't want to kick up a fuss and I feel like I'm being pathetic?? I just wondered what other expectant mum's out there thought and if anyone had a similar job?
I would be concerned if I were you. What kind of sized organisation is it? Is there an HR function you could speak to directly? Or someone else you could report your concerns to? Sometimes line managers haven’t got a clue about their responsibilities.
You need to discuss it with employer and have something in place. It’s not healthy for yourself or baby to be in that position. Especially if you don’t know what the people’s reaction will be like either when approaching their homes :-/
Thank you both for your comments. It's a fairly large organisation yes. I have raised my concerns about smoke/cannibis but they didn't share my concerns. This is really making me feel quite low. Maybe its partly hormones but I do feel so down about this as I just feel completely undervalued.
It’s my understanding that a doctor can write you a fit for work note saying specific caveats, and in this case it might be you can work on the proviso you are not expected to be in an environment being exposed to second hand smoke. Your organisation will then have to make adjustments for this. If they can’t with you doing your usual job they need to find alternative tasks that you can do, if they can’t do this they will need to pay you to not work.
The risk assessment is a legal requirement and should be done.
The houses smelling are not an issue though. I'm a social worker so go in to all sorts of houses, as do my pregnant colleagues. We ask clients not to smoke whilst we are present and leave if they refuse (their home, their right). The only clientsmy risk assessment advises for me not to see are those with a history of violence or risk of certain infections (e.g. flu).
A risk assessment should be carried out but if this is your job what can be done to avoid this?
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