Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health and Society


Diesel engines are a highly utilised form of power in many industries, particularly heavy industry where the horsepower of a diesel engine often outweighs other power modes such as battery or electric, and where intrinsic safety requirements necessitate their use. Since the inception of the diesel engine in the late 1800s their design changed dramatically, as has diesel fuel quality and exhaust emissions controls. The exhaust emissions from diesel engines are known to cause adverse health effects to workers. These health effects include both acute effects such as irritation to the eyes and respiratory system, and chronic effects with the most serious of these being lung and potentially bladder cancer. There are many known and proven controls for exposure to diesel exhaust emissions which vary depending on the workplace. Maintenance of diesel engines is one such control. While maintenance of the engine to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) specifications and requirements as per warranties for the vehicle is regularly undertaken proactively, vehicle and engine specific maintenance is not usually completed. Earlier work identified that additional targeted maintenance could result in reduced emissions and better operating equipment and thus warranted further investigation. Targeted maintenance should be specific to the individual engine, also considering other vehicles in a fleet with the same engine type to achieve fleet optimization. Optimising a fleets performance with respect to engine emissions should result in reduced exposure to workers though lower concentrations of harmful particulates and gases, and properly maintained engines should reduce fuel consumption due to optimal operation and burning fuel efficiently. Targeted maintenance can be informed by measuring and understanding the components of diesel exhaust from an individual engine and conducting maintenance using this information to target specific requirements. This can be referred to as emissions based maintenance (EBM). The aim of this research project was to further investigate emissions based engine maintenance as a workplace control to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust and to determine if there was an associated productivity gain.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.