09/02/2015 - 16:56

Schlam engineers a smoke-free workplace

09/02/2015 - 16:56

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PRODUCTIVE PUSH: Ryan Schlam is hoping for a two-fold outcome from a new smoke-free policy.

A Western Australian engineering company is seeking to make its workplace a smoke-free venue for its 86 staff, going above the legal requirements set for employers.

Schlam Engineering managing director Ryan Schlam said the policy was an investment in the health of workers and, in turn, in the profitability of the company.

“It’s not the 10 or 20 minutes a day that you get back from an employee who doesn’t go out for a smoke. I think there’s a lot more value in the act of quitting (that) will actually dramatically improve the quality of life and general wellbeing of those employees,” Mr Schlam told Business News.

“Once they feel better about themselves and they can function better, they will be more productive in the time they are at work.

“We would expect that, over time, attendance records would improve.”

Mr Schlam estimates that about 20 per cent of Schlam employees are smokers.

The policy is being implemented in two phases; the first, introduced last November, involved workers negotiating smoking breaks outside of required rest periods.

The second phase, which came into effect this month, will require workers to smoke only during designated break times.

Legally, employers aren’t required to grant additional breaks to smokers.

The policy will apply at Schlam’s headquarters in Waroona and its on-site locations.

The company will also subsidise 50 per cent of the cost of nicotine replacement.

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