Dear Colleagues, 

UHN is committed to providing a healthy, safe and comfortable environment for all of our employees, patients and visitors. We continually review our policies and practices and make changes when necessary.

Many of our staff and patients have raised concerns about scented products and health symptoms. Employees, patients and visitors have told us that they experience headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms when they are exposed to scented products. Scented personal care products include perfumes, deodorants, hair products and lotions.

As a result, UHN is now a scent-free organization, effective today, October 3, 2011. This policy applies to all our sites.

A formal scent-free policy has been created and can be found in the policies section of the Intranet in the Occupational Health & Safety section (http://documents.uhn.ca/sites/uhn/Policies/Administrative/General_Administration/1.20.016). This policy applies to all areas of UHN including those with and without patients. Occupational Health & Safety has created an FAQ document, which will help guide staff and managers on how to approach fellow colleagues or patient and visitors who may be wearing scented products.

We will also be communicating this new policy throughout the organization, to ensure people entering UHN are made aware. You will notice posters in public areas of the hospital to that effect. Please take the time to look around your area, and if your area needs additional posters, please contact Occ Health. Occ Health will also be distributing tent cards, which you can set out in your reception area to inform incoming patients and visitors. Finally, you may also consider adding a short message to that effect to your clinic voicemail, to help make patients aware before they enter the building.

If you have any questions or concerns after reading the policy and Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Occupational Health & Safety. Creating a healthy and comfortable work environment is something we must all take responsibility for. My thanks to all of you for working together to create a scent-free environment at UHN.

Bob

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