New guidance has been published to help staff who work around diesel-powered vehicles or equipment reduce their exposure to exhaust emissions.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has produced the pocket card for workers on how to prevent their exposure, highlighting that diesel engine exhaust emissions can cause lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Air pollution exposure
Each year at least 38,000 people die from exposure to excess nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles, it argued.
The card advises employees to turn off engines if not needed, use tailpipe exhaust extraction systems, use workplace air extraction, wear a mask, and undertake training. Those who drive for work should make sure their vehicle’s windows are closed.
The guidance is the latest to be released under IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign, which aims to help workers reduce their exposure to carcinogens including silica dust, asbestos and solar radiation.
Earlier this year research by King’s College London found that taxi drivers experience the highest exposures to black carbon – the “sooty” substance emitted from petrol and diesel engines – than other professional drivers. The highest black carbon levels were recorded when the drivers were inside their vehicles.
IOSH’s head of strategic engagement Alan Stevens said: “Our No Time to Lose campaign has been embraced by organisations around the world who are sharing, adapting and translating materials to help raise awareness of occupational cancer in their countries. In the last three months we have launched the campaign in Australia, Malaysia and Canada.
“Work-caused cancers are all preventable. I encourage everyone to get involved in No Time to Lose by downloading the resources, supporting the campaign and pledging to take action. By working together we can beat occupational cancer.”