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Arla Foods; How to use smoking cabins in hygienic area

Arla Foods use smoke free units in hygienic area

In 1997 the board of Arla Foods decided to invest in extensive modernisation of the dairy in Linköping, Sweden. A traditional milk dairy was to be converted into a specialist dairy to include the production of cooking and yoghurt products. After an investment of SEK 450 million, the new facility was inaugurated in September 2002. “When we renovated the facility we also had to bear in mind the fact that some of our 450 employees were smokers,” relates Project Manager, Hans-Olov Appelgren. “Going outside to smoke has never been an option here, as the staff wear hygienic clothing. This means that they can’t leave the hygienic area without changing. As a result they have had to make use of a smoking room, but this is not actually a very successful solution. Smoke gets out and irritates the non-smokers, the ashtrays get overfull, and the atmosphere in the smoking room is generally unhealthy, in spite of the ventilation.”

Smoking rooms are a proven health risk
It has been demonstrated that traditional smoking rooms are a major health risk for those who spend time in them, as the ventilation is often inadequate and the carcinogenic particles released during smoking are not filtered out. Very often the poor air quality can be sensed, which means that no one willingly spends their time there. The result is a kind of segregation between the smokers and the non-smokers in the workplace which is to the detriment of the working atmosphere and natural social interaction. A smoking cabin from QleanAir Scandinavia will filter out 99.9995% of all toxic particles in the smoke, and their open-access solution means that smokers and non-smokers can come together in the same place without anyone feeling the need to complain about the smell or poor air quality.

Too good to be true?
When Hans-Olov Appelgren saw a demonstration of the smoking cabin at the Scandinavian Technical Fair in Stockholm he was impressed but still sceptical. Could it really work just as effectively in an ordinary workplace? If so, the smoking room could simply be done away with, and smoking permitted in the break room! As it turned out, the QleanAir technology fulfilled all expectations. Arla Foods in Linköping now has four smaller units plus a larger freestanding smoking room adjoining the canteen. The smoking stations are available in a number of different designs and sizes, with the smallest taking up less than two square metres of office floor space. Apart from the few square metres, all that is needed is a standard mains socket. This makes the solution very flexible, allowing it to be moved around as needed. “What really convinced us was the superb ash handling system. No cigarette ends left lying around, no smell, and no fire hazard. Our smoke free solution is unique in its patented ash handling system, developed in cooperation with the firefighting services to maximise safety.

Nothing but positive experiences
“We really have not come across any weaknesses in this system. The service provision works perfectly and both smokers and non-smokers alike are positive in their response, particularly now that they can be together more. The fact that the units also blend nicely into our environment is an additional plus point. Last but not least, we have not committed ourselves to any particular location. The units can be integrated anywhere. Thanks to QleanAir Scandinavia´s technology, the only limits are those of our imagination,” concludes Hans-Olov Appelgren.