WA: new diesel workplace exposure standard in place

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Monday, 21 December, 2020 - 12:15
Policy & legislation
Western Australia

The Western Australian Government recently introduced changes to the workplace exposure standards for diesel particulate matter that applies to all Western Australian mining operations.

Mine operators must now ensure diesel particulate matter does not exceed 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre of air in the workplace.

Diesel particulate matter is a component of diesel engine exhaust which is a known health hazard for the mining industry, particularly underground mines.

While mine operators were previously encouraged to ensure diesel particulate matter was kept as low as possible, compliance was voluntary.

Introducing the exposure standard follows extensive scientific research into diesel particulate matter exposure risks and consultation with the mining sector.

The announcement follows the workplace exposure standard for respirable crystalline silica halved to 0.05 milligrams per cubic metre as of October 27, 2020; and respirable coal dust will be halved to 1.5 milligrams per cubic metre effective October 27, 2021

“We will continue to work with the mining sector to ensure operators are managing risks and applying the new diesel particulate matter exposure standard,” said WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

“Healthy mine sites are the bedrock that underpins the McGowan Government’s goal to make Western Australia the world’s safest mining environment.”

For more information, download a copy of the guideline.