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This Policy will define the Organization’s philosophy regarding Care Workers who may find themselves having to work at a service user’s home where the service user is a heavy smoker. This Policy reinforces part A of Policy No 1205.



1. Management of the Organization recognises and acknowledges the right of the service user to smoke within their home environment.

2. Management also recognises that working in an environment heavily contaminated with tobacco smoke can be considered to be unhealthy or even harmful and may also be considered to be offensive to some people. The Organization has a duty of care to protect their care staff from working in potentially harmful working environments whilst still acknowledging the service user’s right to smoke. This may be especially important where a Care Worker does not smoke or has recently given up smoking thereby finding that working in such an environment to be stressful. The Organisation is therefore committed to a policy whereby an acceptable balance is achieved between the service user’s right to smoke in their own home and the protection of care staff from the effects of passive smoking.

3. In order to achieve this, and to resolve any potential incompatibility problems, the Organization is committed to a sympathetic review of all circumstances, and in particular focussing on the following:


3.1 At the preliminary Baseline Assessment stage it can be established whether the service user is a heavy smoker. This can be included in the general considerations regarding whether or not the Organization is able to offer the required care to the service user. This will include a Risk Assessment of the service user’s home environment in accordance with Form No 3-006.


3.2 Considerations when matching / assigning a Care Worker with a service user (ref Policy No 3010):


  • Where the Care Worker may not mind working in a smoky environment, even though the Care Worker herself / himself is not permitted to smoke (see Policy No 1205).


  • Identifying those staff members whose health may worsen if exposed to smoke. This will include those

who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma or bronchitis, and pregnant women.

3.2 Politely asking service users who smoke not to do so shortly before the Care Worker arrives, and when they are present.


3.3 As far as is practical, organising staff rotas to ensure that a Care Worker doesn’t have to visit 2 or more houses in succession where there is likely to be a smoky environment.


4. Once a Contract for Care has been agreed (ref Policy No 3011) the situation can be monitored through the Care Worker’s normal daily reporting routines. Should it become apparent that the Care Worker is finding it increasingly difficult to work in a smoky environment, or where there are concerns for the Care Worker’s continued well-being, then the Organisation reserves the right to take the following action:


4.1 Review the options for changing the Care Worker in accordance with Policy No 3010.


4.2 In extreme cases, where there is serious cause for concern, the need to withdraw the care service completely from the service user should be considered. In such cases this should be done in accordance with Policy No 4305.


FORMS REFERENCES:

Form No: 3-006 Risk Assessment - Workplace Environment (Service User’s Property)

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