HR Strange But True!
October 21, 2009

Advocates for smoking laws covering the workplace argue that the laws are necessary to protect both the public and employees from second-hand smoke. But what about a workplace that there are no other employees and there is no interaction with the public? A trucker in Ontario, Canada just found out.

A trucker in Ontario is facing a hefty fine because he was caught smoking in his truck, the Toronto Star reports. That's because the Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking “in any enclosed public place or enclosed workplace.” In the text of the law, the definition of “enclosed workplace” includes any vehicle:

  1. That is covered by a roof,
  2. That employees work in or frequent during the course of their employment whether or not they are acting in the course of their employment at the time, and
  3. That is not primarily a private dwelling

On a website devoted to explaining the law to the public, Ontario's Ministry of Health Promotion states: “Examples of an enclosed workplace include the inside of a trailer office on a construction site, the inside of a loading dock, or the inside of a delivery truck. The ban on smoking in an enclosed workplace is in effect at all times, even during off-hours when people are not working.

The law created responsibilities for employers

  • Ensure that employees are aware that smoking is prohibited in enclosed workplaces.
  • Remove ashtrays and any object that serves as one.
  • Ensure that no one smokes in the workplace.
  • Ensure a person who does not comply does not remain in the enclosed workplace.
  • Post No Smoking signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and other appropriate locations in order to ensure that everyone knows that smoking is prohibited.

Sources: Toronto Star and Smoke-Free Ontario

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