Worker Safety at Risk from Second-hand Smoke
EDMONTON, April 18 /CNW/ - The AFL joined with Action on Smoking and
Health, Alberta Cancer Board and the Alberta Chamber of Commerce today to
launch a campaign to urge the Alberta government to implement a province-wide
smoking ban in all workplaces.
"For us smoking in the workplace is an occupational health and safety
issue," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "Forcing workers in restaurants, bars
and casinos to be exposed to high levels of second-hand smoke runs counter to
basic health and safety practice."
"Tobacco smoke contains over 50 known carcinogens, including benzene,
formaldehyde, cadmium and lead," observes McGowan. "If workers in bars were
being exposed to coal dust at the levels they inhale second-hand smoke, the
government would have put a stop to it. Had bingo workers been exposed to
asbestos at these levels, the government would have cracked down."
"They need to act now to eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke."
McGowan points out that food and beverage workers have three to six times
more exposure to second hand smoke than other workers. As a result,
non-smoking workers in the food service industry have a 50% greater risk of
cancer than other non-smokers. "This is why we must act," urges McGowan.
"We will be mobilizing our members to contact their MLA in the next few
weeks demanding a province-wide smoking ban," says McGowan. "We are one of
only two provinces without one. Let's hope we don't end up being the last
province without a complete ban."
For further information:
For further information: Gil McGowan, President, Cell: (780) 218-9888