Since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced in the UK we have seen various different erections appear outside buildings where they were once not even thought about. In a pub or restaurant you might find a patio area outdoors complete with heaters so smokers will not be deterred from visiting these establishments. You may have also notice that outside bins or large ashtrays have also started to appear outside various other places where people have the need to leave the building so they can partake of a cigarette.
What about the Workplace?
The workplace is almost a completely different subject. Business establishments that allow visitors in a social capacity have found it much easier to cheaply introduce areas where people can step outside to smoke. However, this is not as easy in the workplace. Before the ban was introduced there were already certain parts in an office building where smoking wasn’t allowed. But, certain designated areas indoors were available.
In Answer to the Question
This article asks if smoking shelters are required for business and the answer should be an emphatic yes. Although smoking is considered to be very bad for you and for good reason, it is a highly addictive habit as anyone who smokes will attest to. Simply to tell employees they were no longer allowed to smoke was quite simply unfair.
Of course, outside is always an option but what business owner wants cigarette ends all over the pavement outside? It’s doesn’t exactly give a good impression does it? Smoking shelters not only offer some protection to employees from the elements but, it also makes sure the remnants left behind are kept in one place. It also means you don’t have various members of staff wondering the areas outdoors with a cigarette on the go.
Smoking Shelters in General
Many suppliers saw a definite upturn in the amount of orders they were receiving for smoking shelters, and there is little wonder why. These come in various different sizes and designs however; there are certain laws that need to be adhered to. When the UK Government first introduced a ban on smoking in public areas one of the first set of guidelines to appear was what was defined as public. For those of you that don’t know, there are two types: enclosed and substantially enclosed. When you decide to place an order for a smoking shelter, the supplier you deal with should know about these guidelines and will offer a shelter in accordance with them.
Removing a Smoking Shelter
From an HR point of view this could be a potential minefield. The complaints are likely to come in thick and fast! After all, we live in a free country and if people want to smoke they have the right. If you remove a smoking shelter from your premises, it could be seen as an act of discrimination, so be very careful if you’re thinking about doing this. Not only that, as an HR professional you may end up having to deal with complaints from disgruntled management about the state of the premises outdoors!