PRESS RELEASE 16.12.20
TRADE UNION CLEAN AIR NETWORK (TUCAN)
TUCAN COMMENT FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE INQUEST INTO THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ELLA KISSI-DEBRAH
Our thoughts are with Ella’s family and friends at the conclusion of this inquest’s ground breaking verdict and our congratulations go to Ella’s mother, Rosamund, for her determination with her prolonged campaign for the truth to be heard.
Commenting on the verdict, Graham Petersen, TUCAN, said: “The result of the inquest shows in an all too tragic way what we and many others have been saying for far too many years – the polluted air we have to breathe can and does kill and government must act to ensure the pollutants are reduced and removed. TUCAN says the Government must also focus on those employers and industries whose operations contribute to the polluted air of local communities and their own workforce. Key to all this are our trade unions and their representatives who are in an informed position to discuss and help implement positive actions at work. However, we feel the government must take the lead in this firstly by acknowledging the extent of the problem and then taking steps to ensure employers and the authorities act quickly and decisively to reduce the potential for ill health and further deaths.”
The ways in which air pollution can be an issue at your job have not been well discussed and part of TUCAN’s mission is to broaden that understanding. Whether someone is just commuting, working in an office or shop, working on a construction project, driving to and from work or on the road all day they are all going to be exposed to harmful emissions, notably nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter, and that exposure does not have to be high for it to affect our health.
Hazards magazine on clearing the air:
Air pollution—a wicked problem: Professor Stephen Holgate, Royal College of Physicians Special Advisor on air quality and UKRI Clean Air Champion, University of Southampton.
Air Pollution:A Trade Union Issue Presentation by Hilda Palmer
Read the latest TUCAN news here
TUCAN Newsletter No:1
Read the very first TUCAN newsletter here.
Trade Union Clean Air Network – Guidance on Air Pollution for Union Reps
Air Pollution – all in a day’s work?
Having decent work means being able to breathe clean air at work. The reality for most workers is that the air they are exposed to at work and on the work journey is polluted. There is very little acknowledgement of this in most government and local authority clean air policies. Government strategy is essentially an exercise in kicking the can down the road by delaying vital measures or passing it over to local authorities to sort out.
Trade unions need a response to the public health emergency and also the occupational health emergency of air pollution. Over 40,000 people die each year in the UK where the outdoor air that they breathe is a major contributory factor. Thousands of people will also die because of occupational diseases caused by air pollution at work. Pollution arising from work and travel to work are health issues for which employers take little responsibility. There is hardly any recognition of this in national and local authority strategies. This is an issue for workers and their families at all stages from before birth to old age and particularly damaging the growth and development of babies and children. This charter provides a framework for unions to campaign for the health and environmental concerns of workers.