Vehicle smoking ban could leave employers fuming
efforts to comply with the national smoking ban, many employers
across the UK risk leaving themselves open to prosecution according
to experts. The national smoking ban, which became law on 1
July 2007, prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and
workplaces. To meet new regulations, employers have been removing
indoor smoking areas, building outdoor smoking shelters for
employees and posting 'no smoking' signage throughout
workplaces. However, many businesses are failing to address smoking
in vehicles, which must also comply with the Health Act 2006.
Brian Rogers, operations director at national law firm Lewis
Hymanson Small, comments:- "While employers are clear about
what changes they need to implement to make their workplaces
smoke-free, they are uncertain about how the new law affects smoking
in vehicles. Further confusion is being caused by questions of
vehicle ownership and how this affects the enforcement of no smoking
policies. Vehicles that are being used for work purposes must
be treated as an enclosed space and smoking banned in them,
irrespective of whether the vehicle is owned by the employee or the
Under the Health Act 2006, vehicles that are primarily used for
private purposes will not be required to be smoke-free. The Act
requires vehicles to be smoke-free at all times if they are used to
transport members of the public and in the course of paid or
voluntary work by more than one person - regardless of whether they
are in the vehicle at the same time.
Rogers adds:- "Employers should not nit-pick through who is
allowed to smoke in a vehicle and when they are able to do so. This
will leave them exposed to litigation and fines of up to £2,500.
Instead, they should ensure that any vehicle transporting work
personnel is kept smoke-free and promote no smoking in all lease and
Rogers advises that employers take the following steps to promote no
smoking in company owned vehicles:-
Remove the vehicle's ash trays and cigarette lighter
Post no smoking signs
on vehicle dash boards, but if the vehicle has more than just the
driver, it needs a sign anyway!
Post signs in car
parks reminding employees of smoke-free vehicle regulations.
But again enclosed car parks already require signs!
For vehicles owned by employees, employers should issue them with
smoke-free guidelines which can be downloaded from
Southport Access For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) which has been helping
disabled people for the past 15 years, who experience access
problems in Southport, is having to move their meeting place due to
newly imposed charges at Mornington Road Resource Centre.
our next meeting will be held at the Southport Fire Station
Community Room next door to the Fire Station, at the usual time of 7pm.
Anyone wishing to share their problems in this field is welcome
to attend. Contact for further details; Val Carr, vice-chairman on
Stubbing out smoking on public transport
NEW rules and
regulations which came into force on July 1 preventing smoking
across the public transport network. From 1 July, smoking will
be illegal in all premises and vehicles open to the public or used
as a place of work. Under the new laws smoking will continue
to be prohibited on all buses, enclosed areas of bus stations, on
board all trains, in some areas of railway stations, in all Mersey
ferries terminals and on vessels and in all Merseytravel buildings.
The new rules also extend the ban to ‘enclosed’ bus shelters
with a roof and walls.
Fines for smoking in
smoke free places range from £30 to up to £200 if prosecuted through
Cllr Mark Dowd, Chair
of Merseytravel said:- “This new smoke free legislation will
mean that thousands of people in Merseyside will be protected from
the dangers of second-hand smoke every day. It will be a great day
for the health of the UK and for Merseyside when England joins the
rest of the UK in going smoke free. That is why we’re
committed to supported this new legislation and ensuring it is
followed throughout the public transport network.”
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel,
said:- “Most of our buildings and vehicles are already
smoke-free, so the laws won’t make a huge difference to public
transport users. We have a duty to impose these restrictions
just like every other business in the UK and in order to comply with
the new legal obligations that means we will be putting signs in
every ‘smoke free’ place on the network including substantially
enclosed bus shelters, which fall under the new legislation.“
On Merseytravel-subsidised bus services and privately operated
commercial bus services, it will continue to be the driver’s duty to
prevent smoking. On trains and at rail stations, it will be
the train operator’s responsibility to enforce the smoking ban.
Smoking bans on board the Mersey Ferries remain unchanged by the new