Setting a limit for diesel exhaust emissions

Static Author Display NameHealth & Safety

The European Parliament has announced that an agreement has been reached to set workplace exposure limits for diesel engine exhaust emissions and five additional carcinogens: trichloroethylene, 4,4-methylenedianiline, epichlorohydrine, ethylene dibromide and ethylene dichloride.

Currently diesel exhaust emissions are considered to be hazardous to health and the HSE recommends that employers have in place suitable control measures to minimise exposure, however there is currently no specific exposure limit.

Typical examples of control measures include:

  • workplace air extraction fans;
  • tailpipe exhaust extraction systems;
  • the use of filters attached to tailpipes;
  • catalytic converters;

and more general control measures such as:

  • turning off engines when not required;
  • keeping doors and windows open where practicable;
  • installing air vents in the walls and ceiling;
  • job rotation;
  • providing suitable personal protective equipment. Note: personal and respiratory protective equipment should only be provided as a last resort when other means of control are not suitable.

The proposed limit for exposure to diesel exhaust emissions is 0.05 mg/m³. Although when, or indeed if, this limit comes into force in the UK will depend on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

More information can be found on the European Parliament website at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20181011IPR15832/deal-on-protecting-workers-from-exposure-to-harmful-substances