On April 7th we met with LU’s Director of Safety and the Head of Occupational Health and raised serious concerns regarding the dust levels present on LU and management’s lack of action.
We were very disappointed by LU’s initial response which seemed to consist of - "LU is a dusty environment but there’s nothing to worry about" . We made it very clear to management that their current inaction and attitude to this problem is totally unacceptable, and that they need to do far more to mitigate the levels of dust on LU, particularly in the cab environment.
We have asked for the following:-
LU to install cab air filters in all trains, and check the adequacy of maintenance regimes of the cleaning of filters where they are already present. Further, to improve the door seals on trains to reduce levels of dust in driver cabs.
Urgent action on the Jubilee Line dust issue at Baker Street which has been ongoing for many months.
London Underground to stop hiding behind the ‘legal level’ of respirable dust issued by the Health & Safety Executive which is 4mg/m3 and aim for the lower limit of 1mg/m3 which is recommended by the Institute of Occupational Medicine.
More rigorous and frequent testing to take place in the driving cab environment.
Make available dust masks for drivers who request them - and not discourage the wearing of the masks by drivers to protect LU’s image.
LU to look at technical solutions to the dust problem including a Tunnel Cleaning Train which LU quietly dropped in favour of ‘fluffers’.
LU management to reform the Dust Action Group, which was disbanded in 2003, to monitor the above actions and investigate other solutions to reduce drivers’ exposure to tunnel dust.
Management agreed to get back to us on the above bullet points as soon as possible and we will provide a further update when they do so.