Outdoor smoking shelters are great additions to workplaces because they protect employees and customers from secondhand smoke. In addition, they contribute to clean air initiatives. If you’re a business owner interested in installing an outdoor smoking shelter, check out this guide on everything you need to know about workplace smoking shelters.
What Are Smoking Shelters?
Smoking shelters are outdoor enclosures that comply with state laws that accommodate employees or customers to smoke outside. Smoking shelters offer protection from inclement weather such as rain and snow. In addition, some prefabricated shelters come equipped with accessories like trash cans, LED lights, exhaust fans, and USB charging ports.
Why Are Smoking Shelters Important?
Outdoor smoking shelters are important to workplaces because they give people a secure space to smoke while respecting non-smokers. The effects of secondhand smoke can hurt employees and customers because it can contribute to severe health issues like heart disease and lung cancer. Fortunately, smoking shelters can accommodate smokers while protecting non-smokers from smoking repercussions.
Do Workplaces Have To Provide Smoking Shelters?
Legally, employers do not have to provide a smoking shelter. However, many state and local laws prohibit smoking in public spaces, including workplaces. So, business owners install prefabricated smoking shelters to comply with laws and appease employees. Generally, the smoking shelter installation process is quick and easy, making it a great investment for all workplaces!
Do Workplaces Need Permission To Install Smoking Shelters?
If a business owner opts for a smoking shelter, they must first seek permission. Typically, employers need planning permission for permanent external structures (including smoking shelters). Before purchasing a shelter, employers must check if the external addition needs building regulation approval. In addition, approval will help employers select the spot for the shelter, as it must be a specific number of feet away from the workplace.
Smoking Shelter Regulations
It’s essential to understand that “smoking shelters” and “smoking enclosures” are synonymous terms. Though “enclosure” suggests a sealed-off area with barriers, smoking enclosures are spaces with overhead protection and an open doorway.
When employers seek smoking shelters, they must comply with local regulations. Though it varies by state, regulations will help employers comply with laws and avoid penalties. Different state acts can also help employers plan for their smoking shelters.
Examples of State Acts
- Smoke-Free Illinois Act focuses on air in certain areas, including bars, restaurants, offices, libraries, and hospitals. It states that air within 15 feet of openings (windows, doors, and vents) to these buildings must remain smoke-free.
- New Jersey Smoke-Free Act aims to keep public and work environments smoke-free, so they have distinct regulations for public spaces. Furthermore, New Jersey’s act is similar to that of Illinois, as it intends to regulate public smoking.
Where To Find State Regulations
Employers can access their state’s public smoking and smoking shelter regulations through US government sites. They can find state laws and regulations regarding prefabricated smoking shelters before installing one at their business. It’s essential to stay compliant with local laws to ensure no issues.
Importance of Signage
Depending on the state, local laws may require employers to place signs that prohibits smoking on the premises. Proper signage showcases a workplace as a no-smoking zone, or it clearly gives directions to designated smoking spots. Clear and concise signage helps smokers find authorized smoking areas and help keep non-smokers away from the area.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, aims to ensure that all American workers perform in a safe and hazard-free work environment. OSHA’s requirements for indoor air quality touches on employers creating a hazard-free workplace that mitigates the risk of physical harm or death. Though OSHA has no specific rules that applies to smoking, federal and state laws usually prohibit smoking in the workplace.
Who Do You Contact for a Smoking Shelter?
If you’re an employer searching for an outdoor smoking shelter, you should contact a smoking shelter manufacturer. In particular, Handi Hut is a great option because they provide the highest quality modular smoking shelter that will fit any workplace needs. As America’s leading producer of smoking shelters, Handi Hut is superior to other manufacturers.
Types of Smoking Shelters
There are different smoking shelters employers can choose from, but depending on the manufacturer, they come in various models. However, looking at Handi Hut’s options, here are some of the smoking shelters they offer:
- S3 Series – With a capacity to accommodate three to four people, the S3 Series is a great option for smaller workplaces.
- S4 Series – The S4 Series model 2 can hold five to six people. It’s also a good option for small to midsize businesses.
- S5 Series – This model can comfortably hold six to seven people. And with a wide roof, it can efficiently protect everyone from inclement weather.
- Solar – Handi Hut has solar lighting smoking shelters that are effective when the sun goes down. This option also has solar USB charging ports to charge smart devices like phones and laptops.
- Custom – Employers with unusual or special requests can work with Handi Hut to create a custom smoking shelter to fit their workplace.
Smoking Shelter Benefits
As previously mentioned, smoking shelters allow smoking employees to smoke in a secure spot. It also protects non-smokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke. However, here are some more benefits of outdoor smoking shelters:
- Accommodates employees while complying with federal and state laws.
- Helps keep the air clean. Under specific regulations, business owners can ensure that children and non-smokers can evade secondhand smoke.
- Cuts down on litter outside the workplace. Cigarette butts are the biggest source of litter, so shelters with trash cans will decrease the amount of debris.
- Smoking shelters are great investments because they enhance the workplace while proving that companies recognize smoking employees.
- Creates a safe indoor environment that prioritizes good air quality.
Though smoking enclosures are external elements to the workplace, they’re still an important component of work environments. And, after reading everything you need to know about workplace smoking shelters, we hope you consider adding one to your workplace. If you’re a business owner interested in installing an outdoor smoking shelter, please contact Handi Hut. With several choices and accessories, we can create the prefabricated shelter of your dreams! Request a quote today!