ASK RENATA

I am really concerned with the amount of diesel dust blowing around at work.

You’re right to be concerned.

In June 2012, a panel of scientific experts assembled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), reached a definitive conclusion. They declared diesel engine exhaust as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning it is confirmed to be carcinogenic to humans.

You can learn more on our Diesel webpage.

We think you’ll find this 2022 guidance from WorkSafe Victoria helpful: Guidance: Controlling the risk of exposure to diesel exhaust.

It advises employers how to eliminate or reduce the health risks associated with diesel exhaust, and is very thorough. 

We strongly advise you to talk with fellow members of your workgroup about your concerns, and ask your HSR to raise the issue with your employer, reminding them of their section 21 duty to provide a safe work environment.

The guidance we’ve referenced here explains your employer's duty to eliminate or reduce your exposure.

From the Australian Cancer Council: information page on prevention of workplace cancer due to Diesel - a very useful brochure which can be printed out and distributed to workers from the Cancer Council's Occupational Cancer Series: Diesel Engine Exhaust [pdf]

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