The British Safety Council launched Time to Breathe to a captive, if not surprised, audience of Oxford Street commuters and shoppers on Tuesday, this week.
Over 50 participants, dressed as couriers, construction and road workers, police and lollipop ladies, came together to highlight the health risks outdoor workers face from long-term exposure to ambient air pollution.
To the beat of Britney Spear’s Toxic, the Hollies’ The Air That I Breathe, Too Much Pollution by Natty Nation and many others, campaigners on a wet and windy morning repeatedly crossed Oxford Circus, shouting slogans, clanging dustbin lids and shovels, holding placards on high and distributed leaflets to the public. BBC London News and London Live were on site interviewing key spokespeople for the campaign, including Andrew Grieve, senior air quality analyst of King’s College London and British Safety Council’s head of campaigns, Matthew Holder.
Time to Breathe is a UK-wide campaign calling for employers, policymakers and regulators to take seriously the risk of air pollution to the health of outdoor workers and is providing free information and resources to help reduce their exposure. With a high degree of political and regulatory inertia putting the health of outdoor workers at risk, the launch in Oxford Circus aimed to make a lasting impression and engage the public to put pressure on their MPs and employers to act.
In a world’s first, the British Safety Council also released Canairy, a free mobile app designed for employers and outdoor workers based in London. The app was made in partnership with experts at King’s College London and offers workers tips on how to reduce their exposure to toxic air. Employers, on request to the British Safety Council, will be able to access the app.
The campaign is working with Friends of the Earth, BOHS, GMB, Prospect, British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Cross River Partnership and Client Earth. Canairy was developed with the support of Kier Services (Highways) and Tideway West.
Time to Breathe is a UK-wide campaign calling for employers, policymakers and regulators to take seriously the risk of air pollution to the health of outdoor workers. To apply for the app please contact [email protected]
Free posters and promotional materials can be found at: www.britsafe.org/timetobreathe
Some of the photos from the day (credit: Harry Richards Photography)
By Belinda Liversedge on 20 September 2019
Six organisations have scooped the top prizes in EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards.
By Belinda Liversedge on 18 September 2019
The four day week and more fulfilling work is beyond the grasp of UK’s workforce because of the government’s failure to support businesses in the move to automation and robots. That’s according to a committee whose inquiry ‘Automation and the future of work’ has just been published.
By Belinda Liversedge on 17 September 2019
Researchers at Nottingham university have discovered how a pioneering immersive virtual reality system might be able to improve workers’ response to a fire – by getting users to smell smoldering ash and feel heat.