There are legal obligations in relation to workplaces and smoking with which compliance is critical to avoid prosecution. However, there are more benefits to a comprehensive smoke-free policy than avoiding legal action from workers.
A smoke-free policy encompassing all indoor, outdoor, garden areas and carparks creates a healthy work environment by substantially reducing the risk of exposure to secondhand smoke. A policy that is supportive and non-discriminatory can create a space where smokers feel supported to quit.
Creating a smoke-free workplace could benefit your organisation in the following ways:
- Decrease employee absenteeism
- Increase work productivity
- Increase staff morale
- Improve health of employees
- Decrease early retirement due to ill-health
- Lower annual healthcare costs
- Lower risk of fire damage, explosions and other smoking-related accidents
- Lower cleaning and maintenance costs
- Reduce risk of worker’s compensation claims from passive smoking
- Enhance corporate image
- Reinforce your organisation’s commitment to a healthy workplace
- Raise awareness of the health risks of smoking and encourage employees to cut down, quit or manage their smoking during work hours
To find out more about the legal requirements for enclosed workplaces read, Supporting smoke-free workplaces – a policy implementation guide produced by the Department of Health Western Australia (pdf 509kb).
For helpful hints on how to start developing a smoke-free policy go to the developing a smoke-free policy section of this website.