Hierarchy of Controls
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a “Hierarchy of Controls” to protect workers by controlling exposures to hazards in the workplace. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published an article examining how this model can be applied to the fire service. Their article, “Hierarchy of Contamination Control in the Fire Service: Review of Exposure Control Options to Reduce Cancer Risk,” discusses the importance of understanding that exhaust exposure is the first step to implementing systems and strategies to mitigate risk.
Among the occupational hazards detailed, diesel exhaust exposure is specifically called out in the report, from page 4, “Emissions from diesel exhaust can contribute to exposures on the fireground or at other emergency incidents where firefighters are operating near a diesel engine.”
This article provides a comprehensive analysis of exposures and presents control measures for each. We encourage you to download the information, share it with your department and implement strategies to reduce diesel exhaust exposure risk and save lives.