Letter to The Publican re. protecting employees from passive smoking



Monday 07 June 1999
ASH/ Press releases/

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The Editor
Letters page
The Publican

By fax: 0181 565 4465

ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

7th June 1999

Dear Editor

Re: smoking in pubs

It is true that the Health and Safety Executive is developing a new Approved Code ofPractice to deal with passive smoking in the workplace (Pubs face new smoking bans, Codeis a blow, 7th June 1999).  All the ACOP will do is provide meaningfulguidance on how the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) should be applied to tobaccosmoke in the workplace. This law already exists and has no exemptions for the hospitalityindustry.  The ACOP will clarify the law and help publicans comply with it.

A new ACOP would not mean that all smoking must be banned in pubs.  The heart ofthe law is that employers have an obligation to do what is reasonably practicableto reduce their employees’ exposure.  That could include segregation,ventilation, baning smoking at the bar or other measures.  It also means the ‘donothing and ignore it’ approach is not an option. The best approach for any pub is towholeheartedly embrace the Charter agreed by the Government and trade bodies such as ALMRand BII and to do what is reasonable and practical to protect their employees. That isgood professional business, and it should not be a cause for alarm, despair or resistence.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Bates

 

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