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The workplace shouldn’t host safety hazards. Employees should be able to execute assigned tasks without encountering toxins that can negatively impact their health.

Albeit a valid commitment, mining and construction workers are often subjected to poor air quality as they execute their daily tasks in confined spaces. Contaminations in these environments pose adverse effects on available staff and the company itself.

One contaminant plaguing most enclosed workspaces in Australia is diesel particulate matter. With associated carbon particles tagged as “carcinogenic,” underground mining, tunnel, and construction operators now engage diesel particulate matter check companies for assessments and solutions.

This article examines diesel particulate matter, its repercussions, and why workplace DPM monitoring is vital. Read to the end!

Diesel Particulate Matter Defined

Many people search the phrase — what is diesel particulate matter? — without getting understandable and comprehensive definitions. Nonetheless, this guide aims to simplify this somewhat complex subject.

Diesel particulate matter, known as DPM, are microscopic particles found in diesel exhaust systems. DPM includes fine carbon particles with hazardous chemicals tagged Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Since DPM is gaseous and remains in the air for extended periods, it could venture into an individual’s DNA and affect their well-being in the long run.

Common DPM Areas

Diesel particulates are common in construction sites and enclosed workshops. Locations hosting diesel exhaust systems are also at risk of DPM. Although diesel particulate matter is harmful, associated compounds are more dangerous in mining and construction sites.


Due to the poor airflow characterised by these areas, DPM lingers for long timelines, impacting workers’ productivity and health.

DPM Dangers: WHO’s Ruling and Negative Health Impacts

In 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) categorised diesel particulate matter as a Group 1 carcinogen. Note that compounds placed in this segment pose significant cancer risks certified by numerous studies.

While hair measures at 50,000 to 70,000 nanometers, diesel particulate matter has a <1,000 nm range. Due to their small size, DPM can enter a person’s respiratory system and make healthy body cells cancerous.

What’s more?

Diesel particulate matter can remain active in a person’s system for 10, 20, or 30 years before showcasing cancer symptoms. Although different cancers exist, lung cancer — one of the deadliest cancer formats worldwide — is often associated with diesel particulate matter.

Diesel Particulate Matter 2

DPM Acknowledgement in Australia

After the WHO’s ruling on DPM, industries affected by this compound acknowledged its repercussions and sought routes to combat this menace. This awareness became more pronounced when the new British Standards, released in 2019, outlined DPM dangers and why specific industries must prompt immediate responses.

According to the BS:6164 report, diesel emissions must be controlled to stall DPM exposure. This document states that primary control techniques involve controlling emissions at their source and providing adequate ventilation.

The British Standards are adopted by all Commonwealth countries, Australia inclusive. As such, operators of enclosed workspaces in this jurisdiction consult DPM monitoring services to ensure workers aren’t negatively affected by this hazardous carbon.

BS:6164 adoption by multiple Australian workplaces also has a legal undertone. Before this document came to the fore, companies could reject employee claims concerning life-threatening illnesses caused by DPM exposure. However, with the BS:6164 ordinance active, these entities can’t feign ignorance. Those found liable will compensate plaintiffs accordingly.

Notable Benefits of DPM Monitoring

Due to the harmful effects of DPM or diesel particulate matter, most entities engage monitoring services to assess their premises and proffer relevant solutions if diesel particulates are present.

If you own an enclosed workspace, hiring a diesel monitoring agency will yield the following benefits:

  • Save lives by eliminating DPM exposure
  • Make workers perform their duties without reservations in confined spaces
  • Demonstrate commitment to employee safety and health
  • Creates a rock-solid legal stance required to combat claims
  • Adhere to requirements entrenched in the BS:6164
  • Safeguards social license
  • Eliminate threats of operations shutdowns due to BS:6164 non-compliance

Parting Shot

Workspaces should be safe zones for employees. However, workers in confined spaces risk encountering dangerous contaminants like DPM. Hiring a diesel particulate matter monitoring entity is advised if you operate an enclosed working area.

Besides protecting your workers’ health, adopting techniques geared towards reducing DPM exposure lets your firm combat future claims and maintain an impeccable reputation.