GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYEES & STUDENTS


The following is designed to provide some guidelines for the handling of what is a sensitive issue for many people. How do you deal with complaints in the office, in the classroom, and in public spaces at the institution?

FOR EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS

If you are an employee who suffers reactions to scented products and there is a scent in your surroundings that is causing you to have a reaction, you should do the following:


THE DIRECT APPROACH

  • If the scent is being worn by someone in your office/area/classroom and you know the person well, you could approach them directly. Explain what the problem is — what you think you are reacting to and explain the kind of reaction(s) the scent triggers.
  • Ask him or her to contact the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Department for more information.
  • Ask him or her to consider switching to unscented products.

THE INDIRECT APPROACH

  • If you feel that direct contact with the scent would worsen your reaction or if you don't feel comfortable approaching the person wearing the scent, speak to your supervisor. 
  • Tell your supervisor what you are experiencing.
  • Explain what causes your reactions and what kind of problems you are experiencing. Ask for their assistance.
  • Offer more information by directing them to the OHS Department
  • If appropriate, ask your supervisor to alert those people responsible for facilities management in your building so they can warn you when activities such as painting, varnishing, fumigating or carpet cleaning are scheduled.

If you have sensitivities towards scents and start working in a new department, or you have recently developed an adverse reaction to fragrance:

  • Tell your supervisor and co-workers.
  • Explain what causes your reactions and what kind of problems you are experiencing.  Ask for their assistance.  Offer more information by directing them to the OHS Department.
  • If appropriate, ask your supervisor to alert those people responsible for facilities management in your building so they can warn you when activities such as painting, varnishing, fumigating or carpet cleaning are scheduled.

If you are a supervisor and you have an employee in your area who suffers from health problems triggered by scents:

  • Be proactive. Talk to the employee so he or she knows that you are approachable about the subject. If the employee reports a problem to you, respond as quickly as possible.

If the employee reports a problem to you:

  • Discreetly approach the individual who is wearing the scent and politely discuss the problem. Point out that UFV has a scent awareness program and encourage the employee to contact the OHS Department for more information. 
  • Get back to the employee who is experiencing a reaction with an account of what has been done on her/his behalf. Continue to monitor the situation.
  • If the problem persists, contact the OHS Department for advice.
  • Direct them to the OHS web site so they can learn more.

If you are an employee who is wearing a scented product(s) and you are approached by another employee or your supervisor:

  • Do not take the request to refrain from using scented products as a personal affront — this is about the impact of chemicals on people, not about you.
  • Work with others to find out what product or products are causing the reaction.
  • Become part of the solution and switch to fragrance-free products.
  • Contact the OHS Department for information
  • Go to the OHS website for more information

FOR FACULTY

If you are a Faculty member who suffers reactions to scented products and there is scent in your classroom/office that is causing you to have a reaction, you should do the following:

  • Inform students that UFV has a scent awareness program (it would be helpful for you to remind students of the program at the first class of each term.)
  • Direct them to the OHS web site so they can learn more.
  • Explain the impact that scented products have on you personally.
  • Ask the class to become part of the solution and stop wearing scented products to your class or anywhere on campus.
  • If the situation persists, discreetly approach the student or students who are wearing the scent.
  • Explain what the problem is and what kind of reaction(s) the fragrance triggers.
  • Again direct them to this web site and ask them to switch to wearing unscented products.
  • Contact the OHS Department at anytime for assistance or support

FOR STUDENTS

If you're having a reaction to the scented products worn by your classmate(s):
If it's a fragrance worn by a particular classmate: 

  • If you know the person well and feel comfortable, you could approach him or her directly. Explain what the problem is — what you think you are reacting to and explain what kind of reactions the fragrance triggers.
  • Ask her or him to visit the UFV OHS web site for educational information.
  • Ask your classmate if he or she would consider switching to unscented products.
  • If you feel that direct contact with the scent would worsen your reaction or if you don't feel comfortable approaching the person wearing the scent, approach your professor or the teaching assistant and ask that they speak to your classmates about the matter.

If you are a student who is wearing a scented product(s) and you are approached by another student or your professor:

  • Do not take the request to refrain from using scented products as a personal affront — this is about the impact of chemicals on people, not about you.
  • Work with others to find out what product or products are causing the reaction.

Become part of the solution and switch to fragrance-free products! 


◄ SCENT AWARENESS

 

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