Workers are sometimes exposed to tobacco smoke. While there are some businesses that rely on customers coming in who want to smoke while they are eating or taking care of business, this is a huge risk to the employees who are subjected to it shift after shift. Fortunately, Pennsylvania passed Act 27 of 2008, which is known as The Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA). This sets specific requirements to keep indoor spaces free from tobacco smoke contamination.
Even though this is a valuable protection for employees, it doesn’t protect them from all situations. Restaurants and bars, for example, might have outdoor spaces where smoking is permitted. If the worker has to go into these spaces, they are likely going to be exposed to secondhand smoke. The same is true if workers and customers smoke near the entrances and exits of a building.
Another issue that workers face is e-cigarettes. These were once thought to be safer than traditional cigarettes, but it is now known that these can also cause issues for people exposed to the vape.
No worker should have to worry about their health as a result of the conditions at work. Cigarette smoke is one hazard that employers can prevent from being present in the workplace. Forbidding smoking on the company grounds can accomplish this.
If a worker is exposed to tobacco smoke at work and begins to have respiratory issues, they might decide to seek compensation for the health damages. This might be done through a workers’ compensation claim, but you have to be able to prove that the conditions at work led to the problem you are having. If your doctor is telling you that something at work caused you to have a breathing problem, come in for a consultation with us right away.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Tobacco Smoking,” accessed May 18, 2018