As vaping becomes more prevalent in modern society, more and more businesses are trying to curb vaping in the workplace. The best way to accomplish this is through the implementation of a work vaping policy. So, what is a work vaping policy and how do you enforce it? Let’s find out.
Why Are Work Vaping Policies Needed?
Vaping does not just affect the person doing it, but also anyone who happens to be in the vicinity. In a workplace, this means their coworkers. This is a problem due to the health risks associated with second-hand exposure to vape smoke. Vape smoke is filled with known carcinogens and other chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals can cause asthma, heart disease, lung disease, and even cancer. Second-hand vape smoke is also a distraction for workers, whose productivity suffers when they are annoyed by the plumes of vape smoke around them.
Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws
Work vaping policies may also be necessary to ensure the business is in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Depending on where the business is located, they will have to comply with anti-vaping and smoking laws. While there is no federal law banning vaping in the workplace, the FDA suggests that workplaces should be vape free. However, many states, and even local municipalities, have passed legislation making it illegal to allow vaping indoors or in the workplace. A work vaping policy is an easy way to ensure your business is in compliance with any vaping laws it may be subject to.
What to Include in a No-Vape Policy
Obviously, your no-vape policy will say that vaping is not allowed in the workplace. However, making a fully comprehensive no-vape policy is not so simple. You want to ensure that there is no room for interpretation, the policy should be crystal clear and ironclad.
Designated Non-Vaping Areas
At the bare minimum, a no-vape policy must make it known that no vaping is to be done on company property. Make sure it is stated which specific areas this applies to, such as cubicles, bathrooms, lunchrooms, and any other facilities you provide employees. Also, be sure to make it clear that this does not just refer to indoors, but even shared areas outside. Finally, include if there are any designated vaping areas outside where vaping is specifically permitted.
Supervision and Monitoring
A no-vape policy is useless if no one is placed in charge of ensuring it is upheld. For this reason, it is very important to designate who will be responsible for the monitoring of vaping in the workplace. This could just be security guards, current managers, or one person can be given complete ownership of vape monitoring in addition to their existing responsibilities.
Actionable Plans in the Event of Policy Violation
A policy without consequences is like a guard dog without teeth, it won’t be a very effective deterrent. Your policy must outline exactly what will happen when an employee is found to be in violation of it. Usually, for first infractions, this will be a write up or mandatory educational class on the dangers of vaping. For subsequent infractions, the consequences should get more severe, ranging from suspension to full termination for a repeat offender.
Training to Enforce No-Vape Policies
You cannot just make a no-vape policy and expect it to magically work. Employees must be trained on what it is, what it includes, and the consequences of it being broken. They should also be educated on vapes in general, so that they can make an informed decision regarding how they personally feel about vaping in the workplace.
Education and Awareness
You will find that employees who are educated on the effects of vapes, will be much more likely to follow the no-vape policy. Give them the opportunity to learn exactly what the health risks associated with vapes are, and how their vaping affects others. Once they do, you will find that employees who vape will be much more likely to follow the no-vape policy, some may even wuit vaping altogether.
Using Vape Detectors in the Workplace
The world would be a wonderful place if the honor system was 100% effective. Unfortunately, everybody knows this is not the case. Having a no-vape policy in place will not stop some employees from trying to sneak their vaping in. This usually occurs in bathrooms, stairwells, and other out-of-the-way places. The best way to prevent this is to install vape detectors at work. These are devices which detect the presence of vape smoke in the air. When vaping is detected the device can emit an audible alarm or send an alert to the no-vape policy supervisor. Vape detectors combined with a no-vape policy will give you the best chance at eliminating vaping in the workplace completely.
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