How should you deal with a worker allergic to cigarette smoke?

Lathe operator Frank Symond was hypersensitive to cigarette smoke. His severe reaction consisted of eye, nose, and throat irritation, accompanied by headaches and nausea.

10/01/1998


Lathe operator Frank Symond was hypersensitive to cigarette smoke. His severe reaction consisted of eye, nose, and throat irritation, accompanied by headaches and nausea.

Chain smoker Joe Frisbee, a maintenance mechanic, was insensitive to Symond's situation. Since smoking was allowed in the plant, he felt it would be an injustice to have to yield to Symond's demand that he refrain from smoking in and around his work area. On one occasion, the men almost came to blows over the issue.

Symond complained to his boss, Production Foreman Ed Cosco, who passed along the complaint to Maintenance Supervisor Mel Brock.

"Frank's not beefing to be contrary," Cosco said. "He gets physically sick in the presence of cigarette smoke. Do me a favor. Order Frisbee not to light up in that area. There are plenty other places he can smoke."

"There's no rule against smoking," Brock said. "I can't order Frisbee not to smoke. All I can do is ask him, which I've already done. If he refuses, I can't discipline him for it."

When Symond heard the response, he threatened to sue.

Question : If this was your problem, how would you solve it?

Belk's decision: Upon hearing Symond's threat, Brock decided to talk the matter over with his boss. Plant Engineer Larry Belk ruled against Joe Frisbee's insensitivity. He issued an injunction that banned smoking at Symond's workplace and in adjacent areas to his right and left, with punitive measures taken if ignored.

"Several courts," Belk told the supervisor, "already have initiated measures in consideration of employees who are hypersensitive to cigarette smoke. In some cases such people are designated as handicapped workers requiring that "reasonable steps" be taken in response to the problem. This would seem to be such a case."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me