In March 2021, an ACT Corrective Services Work Health and Safety Representative (HSR) issued an improvement notice under section 90 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) due to exposure to cigarette smoke by workers at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
The Directorate requested a review of the improvement notice issued by the HSR under section 100 Work Health and Safety Act 2011. In reviewing the improvement notice WorkSafe ACT issued a revised Improvement Notice on 14 May 2021 indicating a failure to adequately enforce compliance with the Corrections Management (Smoking) Policy 2019.
Consultation is occurring with workers and detainees about minimising the risks of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. ACT Corrective Services has proactively included the topic of passive smoking as an ongoing matter for discussion and consultation, with staff and detainees through various AMC committees.
Work is being undertaken towards resolving concerns raised by workers, including:
- New signage to provide clarity and enforcement of designated smoking areas
- Requiring delegates to refrain from smoking
- When detainees pass staff during musters
- When on walkways
- Within around 4 metres of doorways and windows
- Near staff workstations or when they are performing their duties
- Justice Health is working on implementing a voluntary smoking cessation program.