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Can I have a smoking room inside my office?

by , 19 April 2013
Smoking isn't allowed in public places. And with the proposed regulations to the Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA), there are more restrictions for smoking in public places and designated smoking areas.
A public place is any indoor or enclosed area, open to the public. It includes your workplace and public transport. The proposed amendments to the TPCA extends the definition of a 'public place'.
Let's take a look at what the proposed changes are and then the areas where smoking isn't allowed in the workplace.

Is your designated smoking area at least 5m away from non-smoking employees?

If not, then you better get R50,000  ready to pay a non-compliance penalty

Discover how to avoid fines by being 100% compliant  with smoking legislation in the workplace...


Five NEW areas that could fall under the definition of public place if passed
  1. Stadiums, arenas, sports facilities, playgrounds, zoos, school premises, child care facilities, health facilities, outdoor eating or drinking areas, venues when outdoor events take place;
  2. Covered walkways or parking areas, service areas and lines;
  3. Beaches (smoking isn't allowed 50m from the nearest person in the swimming area);
  4. An area within 10m of a window, ventilation inlet, doorway or entrance to a public place. These regulations don't apply if you're simply walking past. It's only if you're standing in that area and smoking; and
  5. Any motor vehicle where a child (1 year old or less) is transported.
'Workplace' currently falls under the definition of a public place. Here're three areas smoking isn't allowed in the workplace.

Three areas you can't smoke in the workplace

1.    Any indoor or enclosed area or partially enclosed area where employees work;
2.    Any corridor, lobby, stairwell, elevator, cafeteria, washroom or other common area used by employees while at work; and
3.    Partially enclosed areas such as covered patios, verandas, balconies, walkways and parking areas that form part of any workplace or public place.

Make sure you don't allow smoking in these areas or you could be faced with a R50 000 fine!

Let's take a look at a question from the Health and Safety Helpdesk about designated smoking areas in the workplace…

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Can we have a smoking room inside the office?

Here's a question to our Health and Safety Helpdesk about designating a smoking area. Jennifer's company is moving to a brand new depot that'll be built from scratch.  They want to have a smoking room on the second floor inside the building, next to the canteen. She wants to know if this is possible.

Here's the answer from our Health and Safety Helpdesk expert

The proposed regulations to the TPCA includes a definition for reasonable distance.
Reasonable distance is the distance that ensures a person in a prohibited smoking area isn't exposed to smoke from any person smoking outside that area. This distance must be a minimum of five metres.

Nell Browne says that the location of the smoking room mustn't be too close to the canteen. The distance between the canteen and the smoking area must be a minimum of five metres apart.

The smoking area needs to be on the ground floor and away from the buildings or in a position where smoke can't enter the office.

Make sure you implement a smoking policy and comply with the smoking laws. Get our new workplace smoking compliance CD, Nip it in the butt: Your A-Z guide to being 100% compliant with smoking legislation at a special launch price now!
More health and safety hot topics and recent updates...

Until next time,
Kerusha Narothan
Product Manager: Business Work Safety

P.S. Get your sample smoking policy template with the Nip it in the butt: Your A-Z guide to being 100% compliant with smoking legislation

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