Making your worksite smoke-free

Making Your Worksite Smoke-Free

In as much as employers want to foster a safe work environment, compliance with certain Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws and standards can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true when employers are required to implement a smoke-free policy in their workplace. 

Smoke-Free Legislation

In the past few years, several Oz laws have been created to ban smoking in the workplace. Let’s take a quick look at some:

  • New South Wales (NSW) – Smoke Free Environment Amendment Act 2004 dictates smoking to be banned in all substantially enclosed licensed premises.

  • Queensland – Pursuant to Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Act 2004, smoking has been banned in workplaces, enclosed public areas and other public areas since  1st July 0f 2006.

  • South Australia – Under Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 (SA), smoking has already been banned in all enclosed public places, workplaces and shared areas.

Smoke Free Workplace. So how can you implement it?

Smoking is a way of life for many people, how can you absolutely prevent your employees, customers and visitors from lighting just another cigarette? How can you strengthen the implementation of the smoke-free policy in such a way that they’d be serious in complying with it? How can you always remind them about the policy without saying it again and again?

Express Safety Solutions truly makes compliance easy for every employer who seriously wants his worksite to be safe and compliant with Oz workplace laws and regulations.

1. Create a Committee

In any undertakings, it is important that you start with planning. And before you make any plans, you must first identify a group of people who will be responsible in implementing and monitoring the policy. You can tap the help of your HR Manager, Operations Manager, Audit Representative, select employees (preferably a mixture of smoker and non-smokers).

During the planning stage, discuss the key points of the policy such as its objectives, rationale, supporting policies, scope and limitations, implementation and monitoring procedures and the effectivity date of the policy.

2. Prepare a written policy
It is important that you develop a written policy that will state all the conditions, standards and even disciplinary actions for cases of violations. You must clearly identify the scope of the policy including the people (e.g. employees, visitors, suppliers, etc.), the work areas, the procedures for implementation and the monitoring measures. You must also state the reason for banning smoking in your workplace, including the specific Smoke Free legislations applicable to your area.

After the drafting the policy, you should consult employees for their concerns or any issues that they want to raise. After exposing the drafted policy, it has to be approved by key officers and representatives of your workforce.

3. Communicate and Implement the policy

Now that the written policy is ironed out, it is time that you circulate it across departments or divisions in your Company. You can also choose to schedule meeting or seminars so you can explain the details of the policy and educate them about smoking.

4. Monitor Compliance and Assess the Policy

Monitoring compliance is where many employers fail. After the policy is implemented, compliance needs to be regularly monitored so you can assess the effectiveness of your policy. If there are lapses or high rate of non-compliance cases, your committee must review the policy and identify areas where it needs improvement.

Increasing the Success of your Smoke-Free Policy

Now, you might be thinking that making your workplace absolutely smoke free isn’t that easy, and we completely agree.  Careful planning and implementation need to be coupled with No Smoking products that will strengthen your policy. By clearly and consistently labeling key areas of your workplace, you can remind your employees of the importance of complying with the policy and the benefits for doing so.


 


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