Raising awareness to protect workers’ health. The health risks of diesel fumes
Up to 750,000 workers in the UK are exposed to dangerous levels of diesel exhaust fumes each year. This is due to the use of diesel vehicles or equipment, such as construction site plant, forklifts, lorries and tractors, and fixed-power sources, including compressors, generators and power plants.
Short-term exposure can cause irritation to the respiratory system and eyes. Chronic respiratory ill health, eg. coughing and feeling breathless, can seriously affect workers’ quality of life.
Long-term exposure is known to cause lung and bladder cancer. Cancer is linked with the particulates in the fumes - ie the soot - which are easily inhaled deep into the lungs and also oxides of sulphur and nitrogen present in the fumes.
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Please note, this guide is designed to give site workers a basic understanding of what DEEEs are and how they should be managed on site. If you required more detailed information please refer back to the HSE website.
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