Where smoking is still allowed

Long gone are the days of uninhibited tobacco consumption at work. They have always been a horror to non-smokers, who are forced to become passive smokers in offices and factory halls. The fact that workplaces must remain smoke-free is nowadays a matter of course, but it demands a lot from smokers. Having become a minority, their only option is to go outside – in all weathers. So what, non-smokers may comment, but in terms of a relaxed working atmosphere with a spirit of partnership, a balance of interests should be sought. Smoking canopies and smoking shelters can help.

A question of climate

Even though employees no longer have the right to smoke in the workplace, their needs should still be taken into account whenever possible. The Federal Labor Court has generally confirmed the right to suitable smoking facilities with exceptions. According to this, an employer may generally prohibit smoking in its buildings, but only in open areas if there are special reasons, such as a risk of explosion.

In the opinion of the judges, wanting smokers to give up their vice exceeds the employer’s competence. However, it can require that smoking breaks be timed, and employees risk warnings if they make unreasonable frequent use of their break rights. In accordance with the Works Constitution Act, works councils have a say in the design of the specific regulations. In practice, this means that smoking bans must be regulated by works agreements. A good working atmosphere will be characterized by the fact that all interests are sufficiently appreciated and respected.

No luxury

Those who want to or have to smoke should not have to hide and should be personally available to their colleagues even during their smoke break. This suggests the establishment of designated smoking areas. Another advantage is that where special safety regulations must also be observed by visitors and other non-facility personnel, such as in chemical plants that process hazardous materials, these can be implemented more easily with smoking shelters and smoking booths.

Smoking canopies and smoking shelters are therefore not a luxury – on outdoor areas and parking lots of companies, public authorities, hospitals, in front of train stations, sports facilities and other places where employees, visitors or customers stay, they ensure clear conditions: Smoking is only allowed here! House rules and company agreements between management and works councils regulate the details of implementing the statutory protection of non-smokers required under the Workplace Ordinance. Works and staff councils can also demand the establishment of smoking areas.

Attractive solution through smoking booth

How attractive a workplace is perceived depends not least on the premises. This also applies to smoking areas. Attractively designed smoking areas certainly contribute to a positive rating. They can follow individual CI specifications and be equipped with high-quality materials. Canopies with side walls provide shelter in bad weather and shade in high summer. Numerous variants are available, ranging from a simple smoking canopy to an all-round enclosed smoking hall with seating, ash receptacles and a lockable entrance.

Regularly cleaned and maintained, smoking canopies and smoking shelters can have the effect of making smoking bans, within the framework of legal non-smoker protection or workplace regulations, more acceptable and followed. This, in turn, is certainly good for the general working atmosphere. Another side effect: Usable and traffic areas remain clean and thus signal that a company has solved the thorny issue of where smoking is still allowed.