Managing the Risk of Diesel Petrol Exhaust
- 11 April 2019
Even with the cleanest of supplies, such as Final Filtered Diesel®, caution must still be taken to manage the risk that diesel exhaust represents.
What is diesel exhaust?
Diesel exhaust fumes are actually a combination of gases, vapours and other particulates generated by an engine burning diesel fuel during its operation. The gases are typically comprised of common elements such as oxygen, water vapour and carbon dioxide, in addition to potentially hazardous chemicals like nitrogen dioxide and the widely-known carbon monoxide.
By themselves these elements pose little cause for concern. It’s when they are attached to miniscule particles called diesel particulate matter (DPM), that it becomes a different type of gas. DPM has been known to cause respiratory issues and other health impacts.
Currently there are no standard regulations around the acceptable levels of diesel exhaust exposure in the workplace. However, individual components such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or dust particles can be measured reliably which can, in turn, be used to indicate what levels of diesel exhaust is present in an area.
Where can I be exposed to diesel exhaust?
You don’t have to work around diesel trucks all day to potentially be exposed to diesel exhaust. Workers who are in the transport industries or who operate heavy machinery are routinely placed near diesel exhaust and are often supported with appropriate safety measures. However, many jobs can also have inadvertent exposure. Consider the people who work in the drive-thru window of fast-food restaurants, or petrol station attendants, or police officers who assists with the traffic control. No matter where you work, keeping yourself safe is always the top priority.
What can I do to minimise exposure?
The best way to combat the potential hazards of diesel exhaust is through ventilation and increasing the air flow around you. When working near diesel engines that are idling (for example as power generators) or undergoing routine maintenance procedures, ensure that there is suitable ventilation in place. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems can be put into place to remove diesel exhaust before you are exposed to it, and it’s advised to attach hoses to exhaust systems that are stationary to move the fumes outside an enclosed working environment.
At Bulk Fuel Australia we need to ensure the minimisation of fumes exposed, which is another reason why Final Filtered Diesel® is important. Our diesel fuel is filtered down to 3 microns, which will remove most particles that could create unnecessary exhaust hazards. Talk to Bulk Fuel Australia today about our range of fuel supply solutions.