Saskatchewan employees will breathe easier this spring as a workplace smoking ban takes effect. The province-wide ban is the result of amendments to The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 and comes into force on May 31, 2009.
Under the existing smoking regulations, workplace smoking is allowed in certain designated smoking areas only. When the workplace smoking ban takes effect in May, smoking will be prohibited in all enclosed places of employment, including buildings, vehicles, other enclosed structures and underground mines with the following exceptions:
- Traditional First Nations and Métis spiritual or cultural ceremonies;
- Designated smoking rooms for residents and visitors of long-term care homes that are allowed by the Ministry of Health's Tobacco Control legislation;
- Areas of underground mines that are located more than 10 metres from other workers; and
- Some self-employed businesses, vehicles and camp living accommodations with permission and when others are not present.
"The workplace smoking ban brings our province in line with other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world that have prohibited smoking in the workplace," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said in a recent news release. "It is consistent with our government's goal of a stronger Saskatchewan and a better life."
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