How can I make my workplace smoke-free?
Benefits of a smoke-free workplace
Smoke-free workplaces are becoming increasingly common in WA, for good reason. With a smoke-free policy in place, your workplace could see the following benefits:
- Less employee absenteeism;
- increased productivity on the job;
- reduced fire insurance premiums;
- reduced cleaning and maintenance costs;
- lower risk of fire damage, explosions and other smoking-related accidents;
- lower risk of legal action from the health impacts of secondhand smoke; and
- less early retirement due to ill health.
A smoke-free workplace also reinforces the commitment to a healthier workplace, raises awareness of smoking health risks and encourages employees to cut down or quit.
There are a number of WA laws that require employers to provide a safe working environment, some of which deal with secondhand smoke. The main laws that employers should be aware of are:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) which imposes a duty on employers, as far as is practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which employees are not exposed to hazards; and
- The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) which prohibits tobacco smoking by workers in an enclosed workplace.
For more information on these laws for your workplace, contact WorkSafe at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Developing a smoke-free workplace policy
With a little planning, a smoke-free policy is easy to implement; especially if employees, both smokers and non-smokers, are involved in its development.
For more information on developing a smoke-free workplace policy see the Cancer Council WA smoke-free workplace guide.
Signage and resources
Make Smoking History has developed and focus-tested a suite of smoke-free signs that are a friendly and colourful alternative to traditional no-smoking signage. These can be downloaded for your workplace here.
For more information on making your workplace healthier, you can also visit Healthier Workplace WA.