Mining group rejects smoking ban

The WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy has rejected a move to ban smoking on mine sites despite concern about the high number of smokers in the industry.

According to AAP figures from the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum show smoking rates in the mining sector are almost double the national average.

 

The Cancer Council said people were less likely to smoke if they worked in a smoke-free environment, and the group has proposed a plan to make mine sites smoke-free.

 

A CME spokesperson told ABC News companies were free to make their own smoking policies, but an industry-wide ban would not be well received by workers.

 

"I know a number of sites are thinking of instituting workplace smoking trials, smoking ban trials but certainly it's up to the individual workplace and we'd support that," he said.

 

"One of the things about singling out a specific industry like the mining sector and just putting a blanket ban across all sites is that it'll create a lot of resentment, it'll create ill feeling for people who do smoke on site and what we want is not to build resentment.”

 

The call follows a number of studies which have pointed to mining and fly-in fly-out workers having high levels of lifestyle-related health risks.

 

Late last year the WA Cancer Council also said 45 per cent of WA employees were exposed to at least one cancer causing substance in their workplace, with blue collar workers particularly at risk.

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