“Our company is manufacturing based and our products are in significant demand during this pandemic. To maintain operations, we have invested significantly in ensuring social distancing guidelines have been implemented across the site. Having adjusted production line layouts, canteen configurations, shift patterns etc. to help ensure physical distancing, we have observed groups of employees smoking in close proximity in the designated smoking areas. We are concerned that having worked so hard on other areas that a visit from the HSA could shut us down as a result. Some recent reports also suggest that even maintaining 2m distancing is inadequate for smokers, as the virus can be carried further when smoke is exhaled.
For workplaces that permit smoking on site, how are companies handling this challenge or thinking about it for the future?
- Declare factory/office/campus totally smoking-free (no designated smoking areas)
- Modify the designated smoking areas
- encourage better distancing – e.g. 4m spacing marked on ground?
- Smoke extraction systems?
- Reduced capacity (one out, one in, like supermarkets)
- Any other suggestions / ideas?”