Do you work with or near diesel engines? Since February 21, 2023, there is a worker exposure limit for diesel engine exhaust
Since the last February 21, 2023 the new limit value of applies worker exposure to diesel engine exhaust, as defined by the interministerial decree of February 11, 2021 taken pursuant to European directives (EU) 2019/130 and (EU) 2019/983. In particular, the Decree replaced Annexes XLII and XLIII of Legislative Decree 81/2008 which, from April 9, 2008, implements Article 1 of Law no. 123/2007 regarding occupational health and safety protection. The novelty involves reducing the amount of diesel engine exhaust that a worker may be exposed to during a normal 8-hour shift.
DIESEL ENGINES: THE NEW THRESHOLD FOR WORKER EXPOSURE TO EXHAUST GASES
For those who are unfamiliar with the laws and regulations, we remind you that theAnnex XLII of Legislative Decree 81/2008 contains the list of substances, mixtures and processes that could determine the carcinogenic risk for workers. With the latest modifications, this list is enriched with two new elements:
- Work involving skin penetration of mineral oils once used in internal combustion engines to lubricate and cool moving parts inside the engine;
- Work involving exposure to diesel engine exhaust.
I’annex XLIII instead it contains the limit values of occupational exposure to potentially carcinogenic or mutagenic agents. The threshold limit for exposure to exhaust gas emissions from diesel engines in an 8-hour shift has been set at 0.05mg/m3 (mg of carbon per cubic meter of air breathed) of February 21, 2023. Only for underground mining activities and the construction of tunnels, the same value will be applied from February 21, 2026.
WHICH WORKERS ARE CONCERNED?
This important change particularly concerns I mechanical work, repair or maintenance of vehicles or heavy vehicles as well as earth-moving or load-handling machinery. So the activity in the workshops, in the body shops, in the overhaul centers, etc. But it also refers to those who are actively working on commercial vehicles, i.e. carriers. It therefore concerns a large number of workers.
NEW EXPOSURE THRESHOLD FOR DIESEL EXHAUST GAS: WHAT CHANGES FOR EMPLOYERS
AND obligations of employers check that worker exposure remains within the limit of 0.05 mg/m3, to be calculated by reference to 8 hours of exposure to exhaust gases. The obligation is therefore incumbent on the employers of the companies which have endowments vehicles, mechanical means or other handling equipment using diesel fuel, or who have workers working near these vehicles. In concrete terms, the holders must deepen the risk assessment by first carrying out specific samples exposure to diesel engine exhaust gases, using approved laboratories.
Source : Sicur Auto