Thinking of setting up an outdoor smoking area? Then carry out these three legal obligations
It's a fact: The law in no way protects smokers and their habit, not even in the workplace.
You as the employer are therefore under no obligation to cater for your smoking employees, and should you choose to do so, you'll have every right to completely ban smoking in your workplace.
However, should you choose to accommodate your smoking employees with, let's say, an outdoor smoking area, you'll be required to follow very strict rules, failure of which will mean breaking the law, namely the Tobacco Controls Act.
So take note of the following three obligations you must carry out when setting up an outdoor smoking area for your smoking employees...
Stay up to date with current smoking laws to ensure your company is 100% compliant;
Implement a smoking policy correctly to avoid being fined;
Stop smoke breaks at work completely;
Ensure employees comply with smoking laws by training them to avoid issues from arising;
Control the amount of smoke breaks your employees take to minimise loss of productivity;
Provide ways to help your employees give up smoking; and
Deduct employee smoke break time from their salaries.
With this handy tool, you'll be able to comply with the latest smoking laws, ensure your employees are complying and avoid penalties.
Your four legal obligations when setting up an outdoor-smoking area
You must choose an outdoor smoking area that won't allow smoke to enter the office building.
For example, you must identify and designate an outdoor area that's nowhere near the entrance to the premises, so as to prevent any smoke from entering the building where all your other employees are.
The ventilation for your outdoor smoking area must suck air straight from the room and into the atmosphere without any smoke entering and circulating the office building.
If this happens, you are putting your non-smoking employees in harm's way!
You have a duty to look out for the health and safety of your employees, and cigarette smoke in the workplace is considered a serious health hazard! Ensure it never happens.
Your outdoor smoking area must be designated for smoking only
You need to display the message: 'SMOKING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH AND TO THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN, PREGNANT OR BREASTFEDDING WOMEN AND NON SMOKERS. FOR HELP TO QUIT, PHONE (011) 720 3145' (
that's the number of the National Council Against Smoking).
To learn the other eight rules you must follow when designating an outdoor smoking area, page over to Chapter S 01: Smoking in the Workplace,
in your Health and Safety Advisor
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