A recent survey found that around 94 per cent of agriculture workers are exposed to DEE in their workplace. So what does that mean for Australians working on the land? It’s important to understand workplace hazards and how to lower your risk of getting cancer.
You can be exposed to DEE wherever diesel fuelled motor vehicles like trucks and tractors are being used, especially in enclosed spaces such as workshops and sheds. Workers using diesel fuelled power sources (e.g. compressors, generators or power plants) may also be exposed. No matter what the job – if you are in a confined space with diesel fumes, you need to be aware and take action.
To reduce DEE, taking simple steps such as:
- Engine selection: Replace diesel engines with other energy sources.
- Fuel selection: Use low sulphur and other low-emission diesel fuels.
- Emission control devices.
- Ventilation: Natural ventilation is NOT adequate. Both local exhaust and forced dilution ventilation should be used.
- PPE: Wear air supplied or air purifying respiratory protection that filters particulates.
- Wind up the window and turn on the air-conditioner when inside diesel powered vehicles.