Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Australia. Workplace exposure to passive smoking is a significant occupational health and safety hazard. Exposure to passive smoking can produce symptoms of ill health, particularly for people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as respiratory or cardiovascular conditions. There is no recognised safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.
Smoking is banned in all enclosed workplaces (Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997, section 46). A guide (Smoke-free Workplaces: A guide for workplaces in South Australia) has been developed to assist workplaces to meet legal requirements and to support workplaces wishing to go beyond the legislative requirements to develop a smoke-free policy that includes outdoor areas.
Benefits of a smoke-free workplace
1 Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues. Third Edition. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2008
2 National Health and Medical Research Council. The health effects of passive smoking, A scientific information paper. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service; 1997.
What is meant by ‘enclosed’?
An area without a ceiling/roof of any type (including umbrellas or sails) is considered to be unenclosed. If there is a ceiling/roof, the area is considered enclosed if the ceiling/roof and wall space is at least 70% enclosed.
How is ‘workplace’ defined?
As defined in the Occupational, Health, Safety & Welfare Act 1986 a workplace means any place (including any aircraft, ship or vehicle) where an employee or self-employed person works and includes any place where such a person goes while at work.
All Work vehicles (including trucks and heavy machinery) are considered to be workplaces and therefore smoking is not permitted at any time. Smoking would only be permitted if you were the only person to ever use that vehicle.
Excluded from the Tobacco Legislation are workplaces that are also residences, a place where a self-employed person works alone, and work vehicles that are only used by one person.
How is the legislation enforced?
The legislation is enforced by authorised officers from SA Health and supported by officers from SafeWork SA. Telephone SA Health on 1300 363 703 (during business hours) for further information.
What are the penalties?
The maximum fine for an employer is $1250.00. For the person smoking the maximum fine is $200.00.