Staff Memo 19-10-2020


North West Support Services (NWSS) recognises the health and safety requirements regarding smoking/vaping in workplaces which includes, in a service like ours, other people’s homes.

To ensure no-one is harmed by smoke or vapour:

  • Smoking/vaping is not to occur any less than five metres from any doorways or open windows.  This includes work vehicles
  •  Smoking/vaping is to be out of sight of people being supported, other employees and the public
  • Smoking/vaping must not occur in groups.  Staff must smoke/vape alone and one at a time

At all shared homes the official designated smoking/vaping area is the only place for these to occur. The designated areas will be decided on by Service Coordinators.  These areas:

  •  Will be separate to the usual outdoor, sit down area used for staff breaks and socialising with the people being supported.  These areas must never be used for smoking/vaping
  • Will have an approved cigarette butt container that is not to be moved from the smoking area for any reason.  The butt container will be cleared and cleaned every week

Staff are to be mindful of co-workers who are non-smokers when deciding on how often to take a smoking/vaping break and how long to be away.  The following is a guide for the maximum number of breaks. This is in line with expected breaks for non-smoking/vaping employees:

  • 3 Hour shift – one break
  • 5 Hour shift – two breaks
  • 8 Hour shift – three breaks

Any complaints about smoking/vaping from people being supported, their families, the public or other support workers will be dealt with in accordance with the procedure for complaints and disciplinary processes. Repeated breaches could result in dismissal.

Smokers/vapers need to be aware that it is only a matter of time before NWSS will have to make, in line with work health and safety requirements, all of its work locations smoking/vaping free.  This will commence with our community access centres:

  • Studio 38a at 38a Hogg Street, Wynyard
  • Studio 51 at 51 William Street, Devonport
  • Eastside Studio at 62 Tarleton Street Devonport.

A staff memo will announce the commencement when signs are up.

Neal Rodwell
General Manager
North West Support Services — 0418 140 000