Diesel Particulate Monitoring: Why Construction and Mining Companies Need It

Diesel Particulate Monitoring

If your company is engaged in the construction or mining industry, then you have a more serious responsibility of ensuring your workers are safe from exposure to harmful particulates. These particles, which are released during the combustion process of diesel fuel, can cause a variety of respiratory problems. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified diesel particulate matter (DPM) as a carcinogen.

While your workers are wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), this does not give them total protection against these particles. In order to ensure their safety, and to comply with the regulations set by Safe Work Australia, you need to have a particulate monitoring system on site.

How a Diesel Particulate Monitor Works

A diesel particulate monitor is a device that works by measuring the particulate matter (PM) in exhaust gas. The PM is made up of solid and liquid particles that are released during the combustion process.

The monitor will display the concentration of particulates in the exhaust gas, and this information can be used to make sure that the engine is operating properly and that the workers are not exposed to harmful levels of particulates.

Diesel Particulate Monitor Components

A diesel engine monitoring system consists of three main components.

  • Particulate Filter – This is a device that is used to remove particulates from the exhaust gas.
  • Sample Probe – This is used to take a sample of the exhaust gas so that it can be analysed by the monitor.
  • Digital Display – This displays the concentration of particulates in the exhaust gas.

Altogether, these components work together to ensure that the workers are not exposed to the hazardous materials that diesel motors produce.

5 Critical Reasons Why You Should Have a Diesel Particulate Monitoring System On Site

While there are many dangers associated with particulate exposure, there are several reasons why you should have a diesel particulate matter monitor at your site.

1. Workers’ Health

As mentioned before, particulates can cause a variety of respiratory problems. By having a particulate monitoring system, you can make sure that the workers are not exposed to harmful levels of particulates.

Here are the health conditions that your workers may develop if you do not have a diesel particulate monitor in place.

  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer

All of these health conditions can be prevented if you have a particulate monitor at your site. Not only will it protect your workers’ health, but it will also save you money in the long run.

2. Compliance

Another reason why you should have a particulate monitoring system is to ensure compliance with the regulations set by the government. If you do not have one in place, you may be fined or even shut down. By having this essential piece of equipment, you can be sure that you are complying with the regulations for occupational health safety.

The fines that you may face if you do not have a particulate monitoring system in place can range from $50,000 for an individual to $250,000 for a corporation.

Apparently, the penalties can be quite severe. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you have this system in place.

3. Cost Savings

As you protect your workers from the illnesses that may arise from being exposed to or inhaling particulates, you will also be saving money. The cost of treating these health conditions can be quite expensive. Some of the treatments that your workers may need include inhalers, oxygen therapy, and even surgery.

In addition, you will also be avoiding the costs associated with lost productivity. When your workers are healthy, they are able to work more efficiently and produce better results. Absenteeism will also be reduced.

A particulate monitoring system is definitely an investment that will pay for itself many times over.

4. Reputation

If word gets out that you do not have this system in place, it will damage your company’s image in some way. Customers and clients will not want to do business with a company that does not care about the safety of its workers.

By using a particle monitor, you are showing your customers and clients that you are committed to protecting the health and safety of your workers. This will give them peace of mind knowing that they are doing business with a responsible company.

5. Legal Protection

If one of your workers falls ill because of particulate exposure, you may be held liable. Not only that you may have to pay for their medical treatment and lost wages, but you may also be sued by the worker or their family.

Having a particulate monitoring system in place will keep you away from all of these legal problems. It will provide evidence that you took the necessary precautions to protect your workers. This will help you win any legal case that may arise.

As you can see, particulate monitoring is not only important for the health and safety of your workers but also for compliance and the reputation of your company. Do not wait until it is too late—get a particulate monitoring system today. Your workers will thank you for it!

Picking a DPM Monitoring System That Meets Your Exact Requirements

underground mine using a particulate monitoring system

It is important to remember that not any diesel management system is one-size-fits-all. You still need to ensure that the one you are having installed meets the specific requirements of your site. Here are things to keep in mind when choosing such a system.

Amount of Particulates at Your Site

The first thing you need to determine is the level of particulates in your area. This will help you choose the right monitor for your needs. For example, if there are high levels of particulates, you will need a more sensitive monitor.

There are two ways to measure particulate levels at your site: gravimetric and optical. Gravimetric sampling collects particulates on a filter and then weighs them to determine the concentration. On the other hand, optical sampling uses light scattering to count the particulates in a sample.

Once you know the level of particulates, you can choose a diesel particulate monitor that is suited to your needs.

Size of Particulates

The next thing to consider is the size of the particulates. The PM in diesel exhaust comes in a range of sizes. And, the smaller the particulate, the more harmful it is to human health.

There are three main types of particulates: PM-0.001 (also known as ultrafine particulates), PM-0.01, and PM-0.05. Monitors can be designed to measure one or more of these particulate sizes.

If you are not sure what size particulates are present at your site, you can have a sample collected and analysed by a lab. This will give you the information you need to make the right decision.

The Expanse of Your Site

This will help you determine the type of DPM monitoring system you should have or the number of monitors you require. If you have a large site, you will need a system that can cover the entire area or multiple monitors.

If you have a smaller site, you may only need one particulate monitor. In some cases, it may be possible to use a portable particulate monitor. This can be moved from location to location as needed.

Once you know the size of your site and the particulate levels, it will be easier for you to pick the right system for your needs.

Your Budget

The cost of particulate monitors can vary depending on their features and capabilities. If you have a limited budget, you may not be able to afford the most sophisticated system.

However, there are still some good options available that will meet your needs without breaking the bank. It is important to compare different models before making a decision.

By taking the time to select the right system, you will have a piece of equipment that will work for your site in the most efficient manner.

Other Applications of a Particulate Monitor

If your business is not associated with construction and mining, then you might think that you do not require a diesel monitor. But actually, any business that produces a significant amount of diesel fumes should have this piece of equipment on site. This includes businesses such as the following.

  • Oil and gas refineries
  • Garages and mechanical shops
  • Diesel engine workshops
  • Trucking and transport companies

If you fall into any of the categories above, then you should seriously consider investing in a particulate monitor. It could save lives—including your own.

Particulate Monitoring FAQs

Q: Is a diesel particulate monitor expensive?

A: Yes, the prices of particulate monitors can be high. But again, you will still find some good options available for smaller budgets.

Q: What are the signs of a DPM monitor breaking down?

A: If you notice any strange noises or vibrations coming from the monitor, this could be a sign that it is breaking down. If the display is not working properly or if you are having difficulty connecting to the system, this could also be another sign of a problem.

Q: How often does a particulate monitor need to be calibrated?

A: Most particulate monitors will need to be calibrated on a regular basis. This is typically done every six months or so. However, some models may need to be calibrated more frequently. Check your user manual for specific instructions.

Q: Where are the best places to position diesel particulate monitors?

A: The best place to position particulate monitors will vary depending on the layout of your site. However, they should be placed in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic or where diesel fumes are most likely to accumulate. They are also usually used in confined spaces.


By investing in a particulate monitoring system, you can be sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your workers safe. Not only that, but it will also protect your company as a whole.

So, do not delay—find a particulate monitor that meets your needs today. You will not regret making a wise decision!

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