Training presentation and participant manual for workers and supervisors
In 2012, the World Health Organization classified diesel exhaust emission as a substance that is known to cause cancer in humans. Although you may not experience any short-term effects, the long-term health effects are often undetected and can cause kidney damage, lung cancer, and death.
“Diesel engine exhaust is a complex mixture of gases and particulates,” says Keith Birnie, Industrial Hygiene and Ventilation Specialist at Workplace Safety North (WSN).
Unlike household dust, diesel particulate matter is too small to be naturally filtered by the human body – it enters all parts of the lungs and moves into other body tissues.
“Because of the seriousness and widespread nature of worker exposure, Workplace Safety North is making health and safety resources available free to employers, training providers, supervisors, and workers,” says Birnie, “to help them better understand the nature of diesel exhaust hazards, and to assess and control those hazards.”
Training resource manual helps participants:
- Understand the composition of diesel and reasons it is dangerous
- Discuss the debilitating effects (short-term and long-term) of diesel exhaust inhalation
- Identify sources of diesel in various industries
- Read and recognize legislation applicable to diesel-powered equipment use
- Apply the RACE principle (Recognize, Assess, Control, Evaluate) to curb negative effects associated with diesel exhaust emissions
“To help raise awareness with workers about the potentially fatal long-term health effects of diesel exhaust, we encourage employers and health and safety specialists to take advantage of these new free resources,” says Birnie.
“Resources can be downloaded, and training classes held using this material as a training guide. Please feel free to share this information and help make Ontario workplaces safer.”
Highest exposure risk
People with highest exposures to the exhaust and increased risk for illness, according to Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety and Health, typically work where diesel engines are running indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as:
- Bridges and tunnels
- Engine maintenance garages
- Bus barns
- Underground mines
- Fire stations
Other workers at high risk for diesel exhaust exposure include:
- Toll booth workers
- Operators of diesel powered engines (such as in trains, trucks, buses, tractors, and forklifts)
- Roadside inspection workers
- Loading and shipping dock workers
- Truck drivers
- Farm workers
- Railroad workers
- Ship crew members
Please share information and help make workplaces safer. For more information, contact Keith Birnie.