A responsible employer must keep an eye out for anything that can affect their employees' health and productivity. As vaping has become more and more mainstream, employers are starting to see the effect it has on the workplace, and they are not too happy about it. Many employers are starting to see employee vaping as a dangerous nuisance that needs to be stopped.
Vaping seems to go hand in hand with a loss of productivity. Workers who participate in vaping will often take non-approved breaks to use their vape. This reduces the amount of work they can get done in a day. However, it is not just the vapers whose productivity is affected, but also their coworkers. Non-vapers, who have to inhale secondhand vape smoke, are often distracted by their vaping coworkers’ activities. One study found that 63% of employees are bothered by employee vaping in the workplace, and an annoyed worker is an unproductive worker. It is easy to see how even just one employee vaping can have a noticeable negative effect on the productivity of an entire workplace.
It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that all of their employees work in a safe and healthy work environment. This often refers to making sure that no part of their job poses an unnecessary danger, but it also refers to less obvious dangers such as second hand vaping. One of the best ways to protect employees from secondhand vape is to put a no vape policy in place. This is a policy that makes it prohibited to vape anywhere on company property. With this policy in place, all employees will be aware that vaping is not permitted in the workplace.
Contrary to what many people believe, vape smoke can be just as harmful as smoke from traditional tobacco products. Vape smoke is actually an aerosol, meaning it is made up of millions of tiny solid particles. When someone inhales secondhand vape smoke, they are inhaling these particles into their lungs. In the short term, the inhalation of these particles can exacerbate preexisting breathing conditions, such as asthma. In the long term, inhaling these particles can lead to lung disease. Vape smoke also contains a number of known carcinogens, meaning that prolonged exposure can cause cancer to develop. Most often this will be cancer of the lungs.
In the hustle and bustle of the workplace, it can be difficult for management to keep an eye out for people vaping. The best way to deal with this is to install vape detectors at work. Vape detectors are devices that detect when someone is using a vape by detecting the presence of vape smoke. These detectors can be set up to sound a loud alarm, just like a traditional smoke detector. Alternatively, the detector can be set up to send a text message to a manager when vape smoke is detected. This more subtle option can make it easier to catch the employee vaping culprit. Vape detectors are invaluable when it comes to curbing vaping in the workplace.
A no vape policy only works if it can be enforced. It would be great if people would adhere to the policy of their own accord, but unfortunately this is rarely the case. When someone is found vaping in the workplace, often through the use of vape detectors, there must be consequences. Some employers choose to use a write-up system, where a certain amount of write-ups for employee vaping can eventually cause termination. Other employers choose a zero tolerance policy, where being caught vaping in the workplace results in immediate termination. Every employer has to decide just how strict they want their enforcement policy to be.