Diesel Emission Reduction


Kevin Hedges, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

Once a health based guidance limits have been established, and as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the program for exposure reduction should incorporate the plan-do-check-adjust (PDCA) cycle. Setting a suitably protective (health based) occupational exposure limit (OEL) for diesel particulate matter (DPM) and nitrogen dioxide is a key driver to reduce exposure. This presentation will identify different guidance material that can be utilised as part of a diesel emissions reduction program including the NSW Australian MDG 29 and identify strategies that have been successful. It will also discuss and compare guidance material provided by Queensland and Western Australia. This presentation will also address the latest activities in Ontario as part of the Occupational Disease Action Plan (ODAP). It will elaborate on, and provide examples, of actions that can be taken using the hierarchy of controls (HOC) approach outlined in the OCRC infographic. As part of the “check” in the plan-do-check-adjust cycle there will also be an emphasis on “measurement” of airborne contaminants that are hazardous to health. This paper will provide a historical comparison of international OELs for DPM for underground mining and parallels will be examined between Canada and Australia. Results from exposure data (collected by NIOSH 5040) will be compared between Australia and Canada and a couple of Provinces in Canada. Correlations between the historical reductions of DPM exposure against respective OELs will be made. Reference will be made to the importance of the internal responsibility system and not relying on regulatory OELs as being fine dividing lines between safe and unsafe exposure.