July 15, 2017

Health and Safety

We should all be aware of the potential damaging effects of breathing diesel and petrol fumes – The World Health Organisation has officially declared them carcinogenic.

These are the type of elements present in diesel fumes:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
    • Benzene
    • 1,3 butadiene
    • Acetaldehyde
    • Formaldehyde
    • Toluene
    • Others
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
    • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Particulate matter:
    • PM10, PM2.5, UFP
    • Carbon


This is a risk for machine operators and of course the general public.

Directors and those in governance roles should also be aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety Act of New Zealand to reasonably know about ways of eliminating or minimizing risk.

A simple internet search “lawyers US diesel fumes” turns up pages of lawyers willing to represent workers that have contracted lung cancer from exposure to diesel fumes.

Added to the general unpleasantness of operating noisy machines, these factors are compelling enough to encourage a rethink of how we manage our green spaces in New Zealand.

The introduction of Mean Green Mowers is one tool on the road to improving outcomes for all operators and the public.