As of the 4th of December 2020 all Western Australian mining operations are now required to comply with a workplace exposure standard for diesel particulate matter (DPM).
Where previously Western Australia had no national exposure standard for DPM the new standard limits workers’ exposure to DPM to 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre of air(Safetowork, 2020).
This change follows the recommendation of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists.
The Western Australian Government stated that while mine operators were previously encouraged to ensure DPM was kept as low as possible, compliance was voluntary, however, the state’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston stated that the government would continue working with the mining sector to ensure operators were managing risks and applying the new diesel particulate matter exposure standard.
Diesel emissions pose both short- and long-term risks to health, ranging from mild effects, such as headaches, irritation and nausea, to respiratory disease and cancer. There is also the issue of chemical asphyxiation from carbon monoxide.
It is clear from the research that DPM is a major problem within the mining operating industry and should be limited to ensure the health and wellbeing of all workers’ is maintained.
If you are interested in implementing effective DPM solutions for your workplace or are just looking to learn more you can visit our equipment page below to find out more: