Last week we wrote to Facility Manager Jan Williams to say staff were upset with her latest email telling them they weren’t allowed to smoke on their breaks in areas designed for smokers.
We told her the job was stressful enough with the current lockdown at Umina Park, having to wear masks all day, high workload and often being short staffed, without asking a smoker to quit for lengthy periods of time without having the chance or timeframe to get support via helplines and quit programmes.
We asked if it was possible, if not ideal, for smokers on their breaks to access an offsite area to have a cigarette and here is Jan’s reply:
“I sent the email out to staff as well as communication one on one conversations with staff, Supervisor and Managers from areas Catering/Kitchen/Laundry/Maintenance regarding this matter related to Infection Control and Safety with our current outbreak. Staff were then advised when they asked if they could leave the premises, informed that this is an option as long as it is in their designated break times. Staff are also aware of our Counselling Service though Newport and Wildman.”
So, during the current lockdown situation, if you’re on your designated break and need a smoke you may leave the premises if you’re back from your break in the allocated timeframe.
This is a good time to remind anyone thinking of quitting smoking but unsure how to do so that you can access OneCare’s employee assistance program which is free and confidential for all workers.