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No Smoking outside?

Postby deerayfan072 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:32 am

BANGOR, Maine - An innovative safety and health program implemented last week at the Hollywood Slots at Bangor construction site has some workers fuming over being told they can’t smoke on nearby public property.

Under the new program, fines of up to $250 can be assessed for violating potentially lethal safety violations, such as entering a danger area marked off with red tape without permission. Fines of $50 are assessed for lesser violations such as breaking the tobacco-free workplace policy or failing to wear safety glasses. Fines double for repeat violations by the same employee or company.

The money collected from the fines will be donated each month to a different charity.

The program is a joint effort involving Penn National Gaming Inc., Hollywood Slots’ parent company, and Cianbro Corp., the Pittsfield-based general contractor chosen to build Penn National’s $131 million gaming and hotel complex, which is scheduled to open next summer.

Hollywood Slots spokeswoman Amy Kenney said the program would encourage workers to be mindful of health and safety rules and raise money for local nonprofit organizations that can use the help. A different organization has been designated to receive proceeds from the program for every month from the current one through July, when the Main Street project is scheduled to be wrapped up, Kenney said.

The fine system is unique to the Hollywood Slots’ project site, according to Alan Burton, Cianbro’s vice president for human resources, health and safety. At other job sites, Cianbro typically requires health and safety rule violators to take time off without pay, though continued violations can lead to termination, he said.

The rules apply to everyone on the job site, including subcontractors and their employees, Burton said. Even the company’s president, Peter Vigue, isn’t exempt.

While workers assigned to the site say they have no problem with the fine system, those who smoke are grumbling about being told not to do so on nearby public land, including the sidewalk in front of the project site, on nearby private land not part of the project site, and on portions of Bass Park, where Hollywood Slots has an overflow parking lot on a parcel it is leasing from the city.

One worker, who did not want his name to be used, said he has been an electrician for 30 years and until now has never been told he couldn’t smoke on public land.

"I don’t see where they can get away with that," he said. "It’s ridiculous."

Burton acknowledged that the company had no control over public property but hoped workers would comply regardless.

"What we were trying to be was good corporate citizens," he said Wednesday in a telephone interview from a Florida airport.

"The idea was, ‘Let’s be respectful of abutting landowners,’" he said.

"This can only help the local community," Burton said of the Bangor program. "Ultimately, Penn National wants this to be the safest of any of its construction projects across the country. They’re trying to make this positive. I commend them for it."

Another worker, Bruce Beem, a Corinna resident who installs drywall for Zimba Co. Inc. of Fairfield, said he didn’t mind the rules on the job: "It’s not that bad."

He was concerned, however, that some workers had been asked to extinguish their cigarettes while smoking in the parking lot of the Best Inn, located next door to the Hollywood Slots site.

A three-page handout distributed to workers at the site last week indicates that a $50 fine will be assessed to anyone "using tobacco products on the site proper, the roundhouse lot, trailer row, from the Best Inn to McDonalds, and from the Penobscot River to Irving’s [including the upper Dutton Street parking lot]."

To avoid being fined, workers who smoke must leave that designated area during their half-hour lunch break or two 15-minute coffee breaks.

Burton said that Cianbro’s hard line on smoking is part of its award-winning wellness program, which according to published reports has yielded measurable improvements in employees’ approaches to such health risks as tobacco use, inactivity, high cholesterol levels, pre-hypertension, stress and obesity.

"If we’re controlling a site, we have the rules for everyone, including subcontractors," he said. "If they have a problem with that, we just go to the next responsive low bidder."

Under the program, the fines are to be collected from companies, not individual employees. Each month, an invoice will be sent to each company that had a finable violation. Checks must be sent to the charity chosen for that month within 30 days.

Employees of companies that go a month without violations will be eligible for a drawing for one of 10 $25 gift certificates to Wal-Mart or Home Depot.

Following is a list of the organizations that will benefit from the program, as well as the reasons those groups were chosen: November, American Diabetes Association, national diabetes awareness month; December, Make a Wish Foundation, holiday season; January, American Red Cross, national volunteer blood donor month; February, American Heart Association, national heart month; March, American Cancer Society, daffodil days campaign; April, Autism Society of Maine, national autism awareness month; May, March of Dimes, annual fundraising walk; June, Pine Tree Camp, beginning of summer camp season; and July, Alzheimer’s Association, representatives of Hollywood Slots and Cianbro wanted to include the Alzheimer’s group
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby Jimboozie » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:36 pm

Lame :-t
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby deerayfan072 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:37 pm

Jimboozie wrote:Lame :-t



I figured you would at least have a response :-b
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby Jimboozie » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:41 pm

deerayfan072 wrote:
Jimboozie wrote:Lame :-t



I figured you would at least have a response :-b


Yeah, I smoke. I do plan to quit this New Years but thats besides the point. Lame, lame, lame. And I would soooo cheat if I worked there.
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby deerayfan072 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:57 pm

Jimboozie wrote:
deerayfan072 wrote:
Jimboozie wrote:Lame :-t



I figured you would at least have a response :-b


Yeah, I smoke. I do plan to quit this New Years but thats besides the point. Lame, lame, lame. And I would soooo cheat if I worked there.


As would I and I don't even smoke :-b
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby Jimboozie » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:02 pm

deerayfan072 wrote:
Jimboozie wrote:Yeah, I smoke. I do plan to quit this New Years but thats besides the point. Lame, lame, lame. And I would soooo cheat if I worked there.


As would I and I don't even smoke :-b


Very nice. Fight the system! :-]
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby 5 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:17 pm

This is really out of control.

No smoking indoors, no smoking in your apartment, no smoking in your car...now no smoking outside?
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby treat24 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:20 pm

5 wrote:This is really out of control.

No smoking indoors, no smoking in your apartment, no smoking in your car...now no smoking outside?


Just wait til it gets to the point where we get so many second hand smoke trials that they start deeming smoking in public as poisoning the atmosphere, poisoning other people, etc etc... it's more like the tip of the iceberg right now.
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby deerayfan072 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:01 pm

treat24 wrote:
5 wrote:This is really out of control.

No smoking indoors, no smoking in your apartment, no smoking in your car...now no smoking outside?


Just wait til it gets to the point where we get so many second hand smoke trials that they start deeming smoking in public as poisoning the atmosphere, poisoning other people, etc etc... it's more like the tip of the iceberg right now.


slippery slope as I said before when they banned indoor smoking
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Re: No Smoking outside?

Postby Jimboozie » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:33 pm

treat24 wrote:
5 wrote:This is really out of control.

No smoking indoors, no smoking in your apartment, no smoking in your car...now no smoking outside?


Just wait til it gets to the point where we get so many second hand smoke trials that they start deeming smoking in public as poisoning the atmosphere, poisoning other people, etc etc... it's more like the tip of the iceberg right now.


Philip Morris and Big Tobacco won't let it go that far. My 2 cents.
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