Air Pollution: Health Hazards

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to (a) assess the effect of air pollutants on the health of drive-through workers and (b) work with employers, employees and trade unions to ensure that steps are taken protect those workers from the effect of air pollutants.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is not currently undertaking any specific steps to assess the effect of air pollutants on the health of drive-through workers.

There is a robust regulatory framework in place to protect workers from exposure to hazardous substances as a result of work activities, including airborne contaminants. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 require employers to prevent or control employee exposure to hazardous substances at work, so far as is reasonably practicable. The Regulations are supported by Workplace Exposure Limits (WELS) for substances hazardous to health including Nitrogen Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and Sulphur Dioxide, that are also known airborne contaminants.

Tackling occupational lung disease (OLD) as a result of workplace exposure to hazardous substances is one of HSE’s health priorities. HSE works with a broad range of stakeholders including trade associations, employers, trade unions, third sector and professional bodies to reduce the incidence rate of OLD.

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