Smokers on Site? How do I care for them?
Allowing smoking breaks during working hours is not a legal requirement. Neither is it a legal requirement to provide shelter for your employees that smoke.
If you’re not a smoker yourself, then you probably agree with this – why should smokers be given extra rights to those who don’t smoke? However, there are some key benefits of providing a smoking area that you should be aware of.
Benefits of a Smoking Shelter
Protection and Tidiness
A smoking shelter provides cover and protection from adverse weather conditions, and from harmful UVs on a hot day. By doing this, smokers at work are encouraged to smoke in the designated area, helping to keep the rest of the working area ‘smoke-free’. As the smoking area is then contained, it will also reduce the likelihood of cigarette ends being left lying around on the floor in other areas. This will improve the look of the site and public spaces, helping keep your site clean and tidy and giving a good impression.
It is the responsibility of the contractor on site that correct measures are taken to comply with smoking legislation and that everyone on site is aware of the regulation and knows the areas where they are and aren’t allowed to smoke. It is also illegal to smoke in cabs of heavy construction equipment. By providing a smoking shelter, you are immediately providing a nominated smoking area.
From a safety and accountability point of view, providing a designated smoking area can be an improvement, as in an emergency, anyone on a smoking break should be able to be found in this space. So if the shelter is placed in a visible area, keeping track on all site operatives should be fairly easy. It will also prevent workers from being distracted by smoking in an unprotected, potentially dangerous place. Having a shelter with bins can also assist in reducing risk of a fire on a hot, dry day from a carelessly misplaced cigarette end.
By providing for employees, you show you care for their welfare and their needs, making them happier in their work. A satisfied worker is a more likely to be a safe worker, and safety is of absolute necessity on a construction site.
There are some regulations that have to be adhered to with smoking shelters, such as it being at least 50% unenclosed, and at least 20 feet from a building. A modular, transportable shelter assists in keeping construction sites compliant with regulations, for example, when new structures are built the shelter can be relocated.
Conquip Transportable Smoking Shelter
Take a look at our new modular, transportable Smoking Shelter. It is ideal for construction sites as it is fully compliant and is available to hire or purchase.
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