Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association :: View topic - Smoke Free Vehicles

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P.Marsh
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:25 am Reply with quote Back to top
We have received an annonymous question from one of our members - please feel free to help with this one if you have any experience or knowledge of the subject:

Wondering if you can help with this one please, or perhaps the SOHSA membership can!

There is confusion on the ruling about smoke free vehicles – new legislation from 1 July.

The law is quoting that “vehicles whose primary use is for private purposes does not come under the law”.

However, there is then the area where a private vehicle is being used on company business and carrying passengers.

Enquiries with Sheffield PCT indicate that their take on the issue is to err on the side of caution, and that their local policy is that smoking will not be allowed during working hours.

The Government are pushing for more car sharing to reduce carbon emissions etc, then introduce legislation that may prohibit this.

From an enforcement/policing point of view this is going to be very difficult in my company, and I imagine in most others.

I can foresee that a lot of staff will refuse to display signs in their private vehicles and will not be prepared to carry passengers.

Any help would be most appreciated.
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M.Blunt
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:18 am Reply with quote Back to top
Try this link is should help

The act
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/ukpga_20060028_en.pdf

One of the regulations from the act

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/20070760.htm

From the above regulations

Failing to prevent smoking in smoke-free vehicles
2. The following persons are under a duty corresponding to that in section 8(1) of the Act to cause any person who is smoking in a smoke-free vehicle to stop smoking—
(a) the driver;

(b) any person with management responsibilities for the vehicle; and

(c) any person on a vehicle who is responsible for order or safety on it.
The rule of thumb, the one that owns the vehicle say that its smoke-free, that is if it’s the company vehicle then its smoke-free as there may be a possibility for others to ride in the vehicle
If it’s yours but you only go back or forth to work then its up to you is you give any one a lift and you allow smoking, but if you use your own vehicle for work and you give or allow others in or to ride then you must make sure its smoke-free when they are in it i.e. don’t smoke about 1 hour before

Anyway that’s how it was explained to me
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T.Stubbs
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Hi there

I was asked a question the other day in relation to smoking in vehicles, which I could not answer does anyone else know how legally such a person stands. The question was:

"Is a long distance lorry driver, using a company vehicle not their own, but the only person in it, allowed to smoke in their cab as during the day it is a workplace but at night it is their home - can they smoke in it or not?

Hope someone can help me rather than me having to trawl through the regulations.

Thanks  
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D.Moore
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:56 am Reply with quote Back to top
Hi Tracey,

I hope all is well. The bottom line is, it is a place of work so the answer is No the lorry driver can not smoke in the cab.

This raises the question of who enforces it, the police do not enforce Health and Safety legislation. Maybe we Safety Managers will have to get police cars and chase down suspects and set up road blocks etc ??


Hope this helps

Declan
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J.Muir
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Hi

There are apparently local authority inspectors who will be going out enforcing this, however a long distance lorry driver may be a bit difficult to check, especially if he is lying in his bunk smoking!!!

I feel that this piece of legislation is going to be very similar to the child car seat issue - it is needed, but very difficult to enforce - not one of the best regulations the government has ever brought in.

I think a lot of it is self regulation by safety personnel, smoking in the truck which is used as a home could be considered a fire risk, so i think it needs to be enforced through the Company's own policy.

Julie
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T.Stubbs
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Hi all

Thanks for your responses - at least I now know the answer should anyone ask me again!

As you say it is a very difficult law to enforce - if I had a pound for every person I have seen smoking in a company vehicle since the ban I would be on my way to being rich (as is the same with mobile phones!).

Tracey  
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J.Muir
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Hi Tracey

Don't start me off... seatbelts, sat navs the list is endless..

It is a very grey area, hopefully people will use their common sense? Now theres another topic to discuss!

Julie
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C.Jerman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Sorry Declan, I'm going to come at this from a slightly different perspective. The spirt, or essence of the legislation is to recognise second hand smoke as a hazard to be controlled under section 2 HSW 74. In other words, providing a safe place of work. So, as long as you're not exposing anyone else to that smoke - you can keep on doing it - even in you lorry cab. What you can enforce as an employer is that you have a deisire to maintain your property in a fit and proper state. Now whether or not the driver shares the vehicle with other drivers (not at the same time) but you consider the effects of smoke to be detrimental to your property, at least in terms or re-salability, you can prohibit smoking in the cab as a company rule. Just like you could ban the fitting of towbars for caravans, or changing the original fit cd player.

This is not legislation to ban smoking. It's legislation to prevent exposure of employees to active smoke.
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D.Etchell
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Just out of interest, the first prosecution I have heard about has been a male smoking in his works vehicle, on his own with no one with him. Also, its interesting that employees may still be subject to secondary smoking as there is no set limit on how far a smoker has to move away from a doorway so, the smoke may blow back in.
Shhh, dont tell them.
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C.Jerman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:58 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Interesting Diane. Then it is indeed anti smoking legislation. Was this actually brought under the new law or some route through, say section 7 HSW?

C
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D.Etchell
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top
The new legislation is seperate to the Act which is one reason why HSE do not enforce it. Hope this helps.
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