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Inquiry to help improve carbon monoxide (CO) safety in UK

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A new Parliamentary inquiry has issued a call for investigating ways to improve carbon monoxide (CO) safety across the UK.

‘Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 2: Bringing behavioural insights to poisoning prevention efforts’, is the title of the inquiry to be conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG), and is set to build on the 2011 inquiry which made recommendations for policy, improved detection, regulation and public awareness of the threat of this ‘silent’ killer.

The key aims of the new inquiry are to gather evidence and assess what progress has been made by government and industry in enacting the 2011 recommendations. It will also identify a core set of behaviours that must change in order to up efforts to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning.

APPCOG co-chair, Barry Sheerman MP, explained: “It’s obviously important to raise public awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide in order to reduce the number of poisonings. But we should also recognise that the ultimate goal of awareness-raising activities is to effect significant changes in behaviour and reduce incidents of poisoning.

“Information alone may not be sufficient in bringing about the behaviour changes needed to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning. This is why we’re excited by what a behavioural-insights led approach will bring to the new APPCOG inquiry and efforts to reduce poisonings.”

Inquiry co-chair Dr. Rachel McCloy added: “Insights from behavioural sciences have made strong contributions in other areas of public policy, not least in the areas of personal finance and public services. This inquiry will bring that expertise to bear on policy surrounding carbon monoxide safety. We are confident the insights we uncover will help us develop clear recommendations that, if acted upon by government and industry, will help save lives and prevent injuries from the tragedy of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

In addition to the chairmanship of APPCOG officers and Dr. Rachel McCloy, the inquiry will be guided by an expert advisory board comprising senior leaders from across the Parliamentary, energy industry and academic communities.

The inquiry is scheduled for publication in autumn this year and is open for public consultation until 16th May.

Click here for details of our carbon monoxide testing course.

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