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Concerning the Guidelines for Measures on Smoking in the Workplace


Attached Document No.1

Attached Document No. 1

Guidelines for Measures on Smoking in the Workplace

1. Introduction
There is growing social concern over the effects of smoking on health. Regarding exposure to environmental tobacco smoke or involuntary smoking (hereinafter referred to as “passive smoking”), research reports have suggested that a number of passive smokers have suffered adverse health effects including discomfort and mental stress, etc. In order to protect workers’ health and create comfortable working environments, there is an urgent need for occupational health strategies to prevent passive smoking.
    For effective measures on smoking in the workplace, the employer shall tackle the problem systematically as part of the company’s occupational health management. The employer shall implement secure measures, involving everyone in the workplace, such as the installation of facilities and equipment, etc. and the creation of standards to be followed by smokers (hereinafter referred to as “smoking standards”), after full discussion in the company’s health committee or other similar meetings.
    These guidelines include basic measures to be taken by related parties at worksites. In accordance with these guidelines, employers shall voluntarily take measures on smoking in response to practical needs at the workplace.
    There are two appropriate categories of measures on smoking: one is completely banning smoking anywhere in the workplace, and the other is space separation that allows smoking only in designated smoking rooms or smoking corners (hereinafter referred to as “designated smoking areas, etc.”) that satisfy certain requirements. These guidelines are mainly designed to help establish measures on smoking by space separation.


2. Roles of Top Managers, Managers and Workers
As measures on smoking shall be systematically implemented, it is important that a top manager who is responsible for the company’s smoking policy, managers, and workers collaborate with one another. They shall play the following roles.

(1)   Top Manager
The top manager’s basic policy and attitude have an enormous impact on the success of measures on smoking at work. Accordingly, the top manager shall, with great concern, express her or his opinion that appropriate measures on smoking are indispensable for protecting workers’ health and creating comfortable work environments. This individual shall take every opportunity to make this policy known to everyone in the workplace and shall play a leading role in the smooth implementation of measures on smoking.
  Similarly, the top manager shall carefully listen to the voice of the workers in the company’s health committee, etc.

(2)   Managers
Managers’ attitudes towards measures on smoking may largely influence the implementation process. Following the top manager’s smoking policy, managers shall make efforts for the smooth operation of measures on smoking.
    Managers shall give warnings and appropriate advice to members who do not abide by the smoking standards.

(3)   Workers
It is especially important that workers themselves promote measures on smoking. They shall take every opportunity to express their opinions, for example, via committee representatives of the health committee, etc.
    Workers’ unions are highly recommended to encourage top managers to promote measures on smoking, to collect workers’ requests, and to urge workers to participate in training sessions on smoking in designated areas, health care and other related subjects. In doing so, they shall help employers smoothly implement measures on smoking.

3. Promotion Programs for Measures on Smoking
It is recommended to clarify the workplace’s present situation and problems related to smoking through fact-finding surveys, air environmental measurements and collection of workers’ opinions. A short-term program and a mid- to long-term program on practical approaches to solve such problems shall be established.
    These programs shall be developed under the supervision of the top manager and through full discussion in the health committee, etc., with the active cooperation of workers. These programs shall be practical enough to be put into effect at actual places of work.


4. Promotion Systems for Measures on Smoking
If smoking problems must be solved solely between smokers and non-smokers, the efforts often damage human relationships. Making matters worse, deteriorating relationships can make the solution itself difficult to reach.
    In order to avoid such a situation and to implement measures on smoking effectively, the following promotion systems shall be developed as part of the company’s occupational health management, under the responsibility of the employer.

(1)   Committee on Measures on Smoking
A “committee on measures on smoking” shall be established to help implement measures smoothly. The committee shall be a sub-committee of the company’s health committee, etc., and shall be comprised of persons responsible for health, representatives, etc., of smokers, those of non-smokers, and other related parties. Committee members shall discuss various ways to reach a consensus on the promotion of measures on smoking, practical ways to implement measures on smoking, and smoking standards, etc. The committee shall report the discussion results to the health committee, etc.

(2)   Section and Persons, etc., Responsible for Measures on Smoking
The employers shall appoint a section and persons responsible for measures on smoking. The section and persons shall run the committee on measures on smoking, offer consultations, handle complaints, periodically review how the measures are being taken, identify workplaces with problems, suggest improvements to those workplaces, and make efforts in other matters related to measures on smoking.
5. Installation of Facilities and Equipment
Designated smoking areas, etc., shall be established, under facility and equipment related measures.
    The establishment of smoking rooms for active smokers is highly recommended, whenever such installation is possible. Where it is not viable to prepare such rooms, smoking corners shall be established in the workplace.
    Whenever construction, extension or renovation of a building is planned, designated smoking areas, etc., shall be included at an early stage of the design process. Regarding existing buildings, special arrangements to establish designated smoking areas, etc., are required. It is generally desirable to establish designated smoking areas, etc., near the workplace so that smokers have good access to the areas.
    In the designated smoking areas, etc., ventilation equipment shall be carefully installed, properly operated, periodically inspected and thoroughly maintained. The ventilation equipment shall be so designed that it intakes tobacco smoke and exhausts it directly outside the building before it is dispersed.
    When installing an air purifier that filters tobacco smoke and disperses the filtered air into the room, rather than outside the building, as a last resort, an air purifier shall be properly operated, periodically inspected, and thoroughly maintained. To clean the room air, ventilation shall be performed in a timely manner.
    With regard to tobacco odors, it is desirable to make special arrangements.
6. Air Environment at the Workplace
In order to help assess the impact of tobacco smoke on the workplace’s air environment, environmental monitoring shall be performed according to the Ordinance on Health Standards in the Office (Ministry of Labour Ordinance No.43, 1972). Necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that the level of airborne dust concentration in the workplace is 0.15mg/m3 or less, and that the level of carbon monoxide concentration is 10ppm or less. Necessary steps shall be also taken to maintain a 0.2m/s or higher velocity of air flow from a non-smoking area to a designated smoking area, etc., at the boundary between both areas in order to prevent the smoke and tobacco odor from the smoking area, etc., from escaping to the non-smoking area.
    Regarding measurement methods, please refer to the Measurement Methods, etc., for Air Environments in the Workplace, appended herewith.
7. Smoking Education and other Measures
In hopes of raising consciousness on measures on smoking, employers shall provide managers and workers with education and advice about smoking. This education and advice shall include information on the health effects of passive smoking, measures on smoking, smoking standards, etc., and other related subjects.
    It is recommended that employers instruct smokers to discard cigarette butts appropriately and have physicians and health nurses, etc., use the opportunity provided by periodical health screenings to provide each smoker with advice and guidance.
8. Assessment of Measures on Smoking
The section and persons, etc. responsible for measures on smoking shall monitor the implementation process of the measures and shall make an assessment of the results.
    It is recommended that they report the assessment results to the top manager and the health committee, etc., and make proposals for improvements in the measures as needed.
9. Other Important Matters
(1)   Better Understanding between Smokers and Non-smokers
Better understanding between smokers and non-smokers is indispensable for successful measures on smoking.
    It is recommended that smokers give serious consideration to not subjecting non-smokers to passive smoking, and that non-smokers accept smokers who smoke in designated areas, etc.

(2)   Special Consideration for Pregnant Workers, etc.
Pregnant workers and those with a respiratory disease or cardiovascular disease, etc., are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of passive smoking than others. In order to protect these workers from exposure to passive smoke, thorough space separation shall be ordered and special consideration shall be given.

(3)   Preparation of Posters, etc.
In order to make measures on smoking widely known, posters and pamphlets shall be prepared, and signs for non-smoking areas shall be posted. Visitors shall be asked to follow the company’s smoking policy by referring to these materials.

(4)   Information Collection and Dissemination, etc.
The section and persons, etc., responsible for measures on smoking shall collect information on their workplaces’ promotion process and measures on smoking taken by other workplaces. They shall also study reference materials regarding smoking and the workplace air environment, as well as research results on the health effects of passive smoking. They shall provide such information to the health committee, etc., when appropriate.
    It is recommended that they widely publicize their company’s success stories.