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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Firms urged to ban work smoking
Smoking
The TUC says a ban would make workplaces healthier and safer
Unions have called on employers to ban smoking at work to protect the health of staff.

The TUC said employers should not wait for the ban on smoking in enclosed public places in England to come into force in 2007 to take action.

About 700 workers die each year as a result of passive smoking, the union body said.

Smoking was banned in Scottish workplaces in March and a Welsh ban will come into force on 2 April.

"For every month that employers wait to introduce a ban, more employees will die or become seriously ill as a result of second-hand smoke," said Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary.

"There is no sensible reason why employers can't be sitting down with staff now to talk about how the ban will happen and how to make every workplace a safer, healthier place to be," he added.

The TUC has published a guide to how shop stewards and employers can negotiate a transition to a non-smoking workplace.

The CBI business group said most workplaces were now smoke-free, and those that were not were waiting for the precise details of the law to be set-out before forming their policy.




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