Our ref: HSR/1/3

Head Office Circular: NP/123/23

14th July 2023

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




Further to Head Office Circular NP/213/22, dated 10th October 2022, I write to inform you that your National Executive Committee (NEC) was convened on 13th July 2023, to consider a report from its Health and Safety sub-committee from when it met to consider an update statement from the Lead Officer as to progress made in relation to previous action points – and also a Government response document. 


Your National Executive Committee (NEC), at its meeting on 13th July 2023, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety sub-committee:


We note the update received from the Lead Officer on progress made in relation to this file. 


We further note the Government response document, “Air quality onboard trains: a response to the Rail Safety and Standards Board report” to RSSB T118 report, which comprised of an analysis of air quality on board trains (this RSSB report initiating work on this file). 


In relation to the Lead Officer summary report, we instruct the General Secretary to:


In relation to the Government response document, we instruct the General Secretary to write to RSSB and Hitachi to find out what work they are doing following the publication of the Governments document and section in this report which explains that that NO2 readings on class 800 bi-mode trains, when they are working in diesel mode are “worthy of further investigation” (particularly as they are a relatively new train that includes a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust gas aftertreatment).  For the General Secretary also to refer to the paragraph which explains that the RSSB study was designed to access typical passenger exposure – but that this may not necessarily reflect the occupational exposure of train staff to air pollution – and that working patterns may mean staff spend time in different interior areas of the train that were not sampled and over longer periods than passenger, and that this “may be an aspect of air quality on trains that could require more representative measurements to be made.                        


We also instruct the General Secretary to write an RMT article updating members on progress with this campaign. The General Secretary also to instruct Regional Organisers to add air quality as a standing item on the agenda of health and safety committee meetings. And/or to set up a clean air subcommittee if necessary. 


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