Our ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/213/22
10th October 2022
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/116/22, I write to inform you that your National Executive Committee (NEC) was convened on 6th October 2022, to consider a report from its Health and Safety sub-committee of its meeting with the RMT Clean Air at Work Working Group. This group was established to look mainly at the issue of on-board train diesel pollution, but also the wider general issue of air pollution. Group members includes Reps from affected TOCs and an independent expert.

Your National Executive Committee (NEC), at its meeting on 6th October 2022, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety sub-committee:

We note the report from the recent meeting of RMT clean air working group.

In connection with this this we instruct the General Secretary,
i) to write to: -
GWR, demanding that the company monitor for PM in addition to CO2 and that they do more monitoring on board trains
Hitachi, re maintenance and train design related problems
Employers, highlighting the health impact (for example, loss of concentration) of impact of diesel pollution on staff, for employers to ensure they set up working group and inform workers of findings of monitoring and the health impact of air pollution. For employers to ensure that they are monitoring for PM10 and PM2.5 and that they carry out risk assessments and involve RMT safety reps in the risk assessment process. For employers to commission diesel engine exhaust emissions monitoring report of staff wearing personal monitoring, this research to be carried out by independent occupational hygienists.
Lead officers, for them to ensure that clean air at work is on agenda of each JSC – or a sub working group is set up
NWR to ensure that at Birmingham New Street: TOCs are doing joint monitoring and that a joint meeting is arranged, and that resolution is found to fans which have been installed to deal with air quality issues, but are creating problems as they are both very noisy and just blow the pollution around rather than addressing the factors causing the pollution.
Welsh Government, to ensure that problems in Wales are addressed re air quality issues (for example no electrification Cardiff to Swansea, outside of clean air zones in Cardiff and Swansea – although maybe soon!). Penzance, only one hour electrified, Newbury to Penzance not electrified

ii) also to:
survey members on clean air/air quality issues. Survey to include questions on where, when and how health impacted by air pollution. Survey results to form basis of RMT News article on air pollution
purchase PM monitoring equipment (as recommended by Smart Air research) and for this equipment to be kept in each regional office for reps to use so that they know exactly what levels their members are being exposed to in their workplaces.
use Parliamentary route, such as an adjournment debate and for demand of this to be for stations to be included in clean air zones; and consideration of working through the TUC and other transport unions.
consider campaign for electrification of lines.
For clean air at work matters to be a standing item on agenda of Health and Safety Advisory Committee

For the General Secretary to provide update report to NEC on outcomes from the above.

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary