May 16, 2009 - 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.
"Our government strongly believes in protecting the health and safety of Saskatchewan people," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said. "A workplace smoking ban ensures residents will not be exposed to second-hand smoke as a result of employment."
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," Norris said. "It is consistent with our government's goal of a stronger Saskatchewan and a better life." To find out more on the health effects of smoking, contact the Ministry of Health or visit www.health.gov.sk.ca.
Reference: WORKPLACE SMOKING BAN WILL TAKE EFFECT MAY 2009, Saskatchewan Government, 11/25/2008.