Dispute over porters and smoke

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University Hospital Limerick

HOSPITAL porters who smoke in their break room are putting patients with respiratory illness at risk and breaking the law, management at the University Hospital Limerick has said.

Following a dispute about the issue, UL Hospitals Group issued a statement in which it outlined that there have been talks with porters and their representatives since early July in an effort to bring a stop to the practice of some porters smoking in their break room.   

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“Despite managements’ multiple requests to stop smoking and in the case of some individual porters, the instigation of disciplinary procedures, smoking in the break room continued.   

“Due to the location of the break room, smoking in that area created an unacceptable risk as smoke was reaching wards. We are also duty bound to protect employees from the effects of smoking.  In view of the on-going practice, we took the unusual step of closing the restroom.   Access to canteen facilities within the hospital remains unchanged”.