Air Quality

Air quality and how to monitor in workplaces

 

Air quality monitors are available for safety reps to borrow from RMT Regional Offices and should be used as part of RMTs campaign to improve air quality in the sectors in which our members work/air quality measuring device for safety reps to use to find out what levels of pollution RMT members are being exposed to in their workplaces.

 

Smart Air UK video on the Qing Ping monitor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC5CP8IeWPg

 

Further information on how to use the monitor is as follows:

 

You will find brief instructions contained with the monitor. In addition to this a rep from RMT Health Safety and Advisory Conference has trialled the device and provides the following advice:

 

  • The Quingping Air Monitor Lite Device is simple to use and is adequate for RMT safety reps to gather enough data to initially challenge the Companies they work for if need be. 
  • There is an accompanying App - Quinping+ that can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices. This App only connects to the device via WiFi which means using the App in the field is very hit and miss. It’s difficult to find the device on public WiFi on a busy train.  The only benefit the App gives is the storage of historical data. This is not a big problem as readings can be stored manually in a notepad or on a spreadsheet.
  • The device has a simple on/off button on the back and a groove on top of the device that is touch sensitive so you ‘swipe’ to cycle through the various monitoring modes, which are:

CO2, PM 2.5, PM 10, Temperature and Humidity

  • The battery is long lasting, it will operate for over a week from a single charge
  • The air monitor is enough to gather readings that, if concerning, would give RMT safety reps enough to insist our employers carry out their legal duties of Risk Assessing our workplaces for Air Quality.

 

Inform us at: healthandsafety@rmt.org.uk if after having readings that cause concern your employer fails to take steps to address this problem

 

Other actions you should be taking to tackle the issue of air pollution at work:

  • Risk assessments, risk assessment should be “suitable and sufficient”
  • Safety committee meetings, ensure diesel fume pollution is discussed at health and safety committee (or a clean air subcommittee) 
  • Measuring air quality, if employers are measuring air quality make sure that that staff are wearing personal monitoring and that the research is carried out by independent occupational hygienists
  • Ventilation, ensure there is adequate ventilation.  For more information see HSE advice:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/ventilation/assessing-the-risk-of-poor-ventilation.htm#:~:text=look%20for%20areas%20where%20there,monitor%20to%20identify%20poor%20ventilation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

All employers where RMT has recognition have been written to highlight the health impact (for example, loss of concentration) of diesel pollution on staff, and for employers to ensure they set up working group and inform workers of findings of monitoring and the health impact of air pollution. RMT has asked employers to monitor for PM10 (particulate matter) and PM2.5 and to carry out risk assessments and to involve RMT safety reps in the risk assessment process.  

 

For more information see:

Clean Air Is Good For You

https://www.hazards.org/dust/dust.htm

 

Greener Jobs Alliance/TUCAN “Guidance on Air Pollution for Union Reps This is very useful guidance with lots of information on air pollution and a check list for union reps

https://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/TUCAN-Guidance-for-TU-Reps.pdf

 

Hazards Campaign “Cleaning the Air at Work” presentation:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PPeX2VwTBy0fjuJYewZAm_eMhotkRcED/view?usp=sharing

 

Hazards Campaign “Cleaning the air at Work” presentation (long version):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vsaiGr9UfiBDifM6kWoEjf4JvkbIs1um/view?usp=drive_link

 

50 seconds on the jubilee line from one stope to the next!

https://twitter.com/SmartairUk/status/1667123623784505344?s=20

 

 

This booklet was written several years ago (hence the introduction by former RMT General Secretary). It is an example of work done by a RMT safety rep on the important issue of dust and its impact on the health of workers. 

Danger Dust