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50001 Concern over air quality at Cannon Street

May 2011 in London Underground

tagged Method of working South East

Staff at Cannon Street are concerned about the air quality in the staff mess room and Supervisor's office.

Due to the refurbishment works, over the last few months the air quality in the staff mess room and Supervisor's office has worsened. There is a lot of heavy dust in the air, with a thick layer accumulating on the work surfaces every day. Many staff at the station have been suffering from illnesses over the last few months, which they feel are linked to the air quality.
It has been found that the air being pumped into these locations is being drawn from a vent in the ceiling above one of the westbound platforms. The vent is below an elevator shaft where asbestos was identified and removed. Staff are concerned that there could be asbestos fibres in the air that are being pumped from this vent.

Staff have been told that tests have apparently been carried out on the air quality but they are not being provided with the results.

  • Can LUL confirm whether the necessary tests have been carried out on the dust and the air quality at Cannon Street, in particular in the staff mess room and Supervisor's office?
  • If tests have been carried out, can LUL share the results of these with the staff at Cannon Street?
  • Could the air be pumped from a different location and not from within the ceiling above a platform?

Response from LUL

The air is monitored regularly for dust levels at Cannon Street station. There is permanent monitoring equipment situated within the old gateline area, this has been set up by the Cannon Street station redevelopment project.

The results of all dust monitoring indicate that the levels of dust are below the eight hour Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for both respirable (4 mg/m3), and inhalable (10 mg/m3), dust.

The monitoring locations are situated close to the work being carried out. These reports are available to the Cannon Street staff through the Group Station Manager or Safety Quality Environment Advisor. The dust monitoring results have been shared with Trade Union and Health and Safety Representatives.

Further sampling was completed by 4Rail Services on 5 May 2011, to identify and analyse the specific dust. These samples were taken from the westbound platform, Supervisor's office and mess room ceiling void and LUL are currently awaiting results.

The air intake duct has been lowered so it does not draw air in from the ceiling void. With the results we have seen, this would not have affected the air quality in the Supervisor's office, as sampling from within the void are also well below the WEL and lower than the amounts detected at the old gateline area.

50001

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