All Western Australian mining operations are now required to comply with a workplace exposure standard for diesel particulate matter (DPM).
The new standard starts today (December 4) and limit workers’ exposure to DPM to 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre of air.
This follows the recommendation of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists.
Previously, there was no national exposure standard for DPM in Western Australia.
In an academic paper published last month by academics from Curtin University and the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Japan, authors Krassi Rumchev, Dong Van Hoang and Andy Lee reported that although the exposure levels of DPM in the Western Australian mining industry had declined over 2006-12, they still remained high.
The Western Australian Government stated that while mine operators were previously encouraged to ensure DPM was kept as low as possible, compliance was voluntary.
The state’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said that the government would continue working with the mining sector to ensure operators were managing risks and applying the new diesel particulate matter exposure standard.
“Healthy mine sites are the bedrock that underpins the McGowan Government’s goal to make Western Australia the world’s safest mining environment,” he concluded.