How To Protect Workers From Diesel Exhaust

20 September 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Diesel provides power for a large variety of engines in various sectors. While diesel is highly beneficial and provides a considerable amount of power, those who work in industries that make use of diesel engines will often find themselves exposed to diesel particulate matter. Cores of organic carbon adhere to surfaces. They consist of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, some of which have been linked to cancer. In addition to cancer, those with prolonged exposure to diesel exhaust may experience irritation of the eyes and nose, headaches, nausea, and respiratory disease. The following are ways to prevent this problem.

Perform Preventative Maintenance And Replace Old Engines

Regular preventative maintenance needs to be performed on diesel engines to make sure that they are in good condition to minimize diesel emissions. Replacing older engines with new, cleaner-burning engines will reduce the number of emissions that are released from the engine.

Install Exhaust Filters

Engines should have exhaust filters installed to minimize emissions. The filter can remove diesel particulate matter and soot from a diesel engine. In addition to improving air quality, installing an exhaust filter will make the diesel engine quieter.

Use Diesel Oxidation Catalysts

Diesel oxidation catalysts need to be installed on diesel engines to reduce emissions. These use a platinum, aluminum, or palladium oxide. They allow for hydrocarbons to convert into carbon dioxide and water.

Use Cleaner Fuel And Additives

Rather than simply use diesel, use the cleaner-burning biodiesel. There are also special additives that can be added to diesel fuel to allow it to burn more cleanly.

Protect Diesel Cabs

Diesel cabs can fill up with exhaust if they are not filtered with fresh air. Keeping the windows closed will also protect the workers to some extent from the diesel exhaust. While some diesel exhaust will still seep into the cab, the amount of exposure that the worker will have to the diesel exhaust will be significantly reduced.

Install An Auxiliary Ventilation System

It is recommended to install an auxiliary ventilation system. This can include a tailpipe or a stack exhaust vent. If this has already been installed, it may be necessary that the auxiliary ventilation system be upgraded.

Employees Should Contact The OHSA Over Unsafe Working Conditions

Employers are responsible for providing their employees with a safe working environment. If workers feel that their workplace is not compliant with OSHA standards, they can file a complaint and a representative will likely be sent to perform an inspection.

For more information, contact local professionals like Ferrell Fuel Co Inc.