Diesel Exhaust Emissions WEL

Policies, Publications & Submissions - June 2, 2023

Workplace exposures to Diesel Exhaust Emissions (DEE) are commonplace – mining, transport, retail and repair work (diesel mechanics) machine manufacturing, mineral and material extraction, quarrying, asphalt making and agriculture and for individuals exposed to DEE from road traffic such as car park attendants, road construction, traffic controllers, those working near busy roads etc.

Not only are exposures common place, but there is also little evidence that duty holders are taking action to lower those exposures. As submitted by the ACTU in 2020:

It is important that a WES is adopted, as its absence implies that there is little need for risk control measures.

As noted in a Carex Canada review in December 2019:

The absence of an OEL is of particular concern because many occupational disease prevention practices rely on the ‘benchmark’ that an OEL provides.

In 2023, the ACTU supports the immediate adoption of a WES, based on elemental carbon that is at or below:

  • Mining industry: 0.05mg/m3.
  • All other industries: 0.01mg/m3.

Adoption of the above must be followed by a progressive reduction in the WES to a health-based standard of 0.001mg/m3.

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