Crown Casino is a regulatory anomaly in many ways. Smoking in workplaces has been a particularly difficult one for the casino. When bans were first mooted the casino tried several control measures including air curtains between croupiers and smoking gamblers but the casino eventually agreed to be smoke-free, except in its high rollers venue, the Mahogany Room.
Now the poor air quality in that room is under threat due to one worker who, reportedly, seeking compensation for contracting lung cancer from her work activities. According to a newspaper report four other employees are seeking relocation and have including the issue of smoking risks as one of the reasons. Crown Casino has confirmed that smoking concerns have been raised.
A curious element of the article is the administrative processes required to support the requests for relocation. There are requirements for a doctor’s certificate but “no requirement that [the relocation request] be linked to a health issue.”
Smoke free casinos has been a contentious issue for many years as any internet search will reveal but the issue can be seen as a useful indication of the competing political, social and moral pressures related to workplace safety. Issues raised include the obligation on each of us over the impact of our actions on others, government’s conflict between revenue from taxes and the health of its citizens, a company’s need for profits at the risk of its employees health.
In discussing these issues and the relevance of “as far as is reasonably practicable” in OHS law, consider the issue of smoking in prisons and moral obligations. There’s a challenge.