Labour Research July 2018

Health & Safety Matters

PCS addresses air pollution

The annual delegate conference of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union at the end of May backed a campaign for a legal framework to address air pollution as a health emergency, together with a programme of awareness raising.

Proposing the motion, James Hawthorne from the PCS’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government national branch described air pollution as “one of the great public health emergencies of our age”. He said: “Poor air quality is a hazard to our members inside and outside the workplace. 

“Indoor pollution can often be as bad or worse than outdoor pollution.”

The union will provide support and training for PCS green and health and safety reps to tackle this issue in their workplaces and communities, working together with organisations including the Greener Jobs Alliance and the Hazards Campaign.

Conference also backed a call for the union to step up its health and safety campaigning. 

This will include: 

• lobbying Parliament to fight attempts to water down health and safety laws; 

• communicating clear escalation routes for members and reps to report health and safety concerns and get competent advice on health and safety issues;

• providing additional union health and safety resources;

• offering an increased presence for PCS safety reps at the annual Hazards conference; and

• reconvening the PCS national health and safety forum.