A smoking ban in workplaces will be in force across the UK by the summer of 2007. If you have yet to consider this new legistation and its practical effects, you will need to do so soon!
Premises: The smoking ban will mean the closure of dedicated ‘smoking rooms’. Only smoking outside in open air will be permitted. However, employers can provide limited shelter for staff as long as these are not considered ‘enclosed or substantially enclosed’. Premises will be considered to be enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof and, except for doors, windows or passageways, are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
Premises are substantially enclosed of they have a ceiling or roof, but there are permanent openings in teh walls which are less than half of the total area of walls, including other structures which serve the purpose of walls and constitute the perimeter of premises. When determining the area of an opening, no account can be taken of openings in which doors, windows or other fittings can be open or shut.
Signage*: Premises and vehicles that are to be smokefree under the law will be required to have no-smoking signs in place at each entrance, displayed in a prominent position.
Signage should be a minimum area of any shape that is equal to the size A4 showing the international no smoking symbol at lease 70mm in diameter (the most commonly used minimum size currently); and contains in characters that can easily be read, the following words:
“No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises”.
More information about the full regulations can be found at Smoke Free England.
*The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations, which relate to required signage under snokefree legislation are currently being considered by Europe under the Technical Standards Directive and will be laid before Parliament after the 3 month consulation process is complete. There is no intention to change these regulations any further; they therefore should be used as the final regulations until these are laid.