In March 2019, the British Safety Council launched their Time to Breathe campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of ambient air pollution to outdoor workers. As the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) currently does not provide guidance on the risk of ambient air pollution, Time to Breathe is calling for HSE to recognise expose to ambient air pollution as an occupational health risk, as well as adopt a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for DIesel ENgine Exhaust Emissions (DEEE).
As part of this campaign, a free mobile app was also launched to help employers minimise the risk of air pollution to outdoor workers. The Canairy app was created by the British Safety Council and King’s College London, and it calculates the user’s hourly exposure to nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter. These exposure levels are then compared to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance. This is to help avoid the worst levels of pollution during their working hours. The app also provides employers with this information in order to inform their health risk assessments and schedule work to reduce expose to air pollution.
Another element of the British Safety Council’s Time to Breathe campaign was a recently published paper entitled ‘The Impact of Air Pollution on the Health of Outdoor Workers: the Case for Action’. The paper provided evidence linking toxic air to health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, COPD, lung cancer and respiratory infections. As a result, Time to Breathe wants the UK to adopt WHO exposure limits for the main noxious gases.
To find out more about Time to Breathe, click on the links below.
British Safety Council.