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Retrofit 'a must' for diesel filters

PLANT - Emissions kit will be compulsory

PLANT hirers and owners must wake up to the fact that diesel particulate filters and other emissions control devices will become compulsory within the next decade, an emissions specialist has warned.

Concerns they might have over costs and practicalities will have to be set aside in the face of growing health and safety legislation and increasingly stringent air quality regulations, he added.

The UK will also have little choice but to follow the lead already taken by several European countries, according to Timothy Rogers, vice president of retrof itting specialist Clean Diesel Technologies.

He said: 'Maybe I'm being naïve, but I can't see how it won't be on all kit here within 10 yea r s .' The biggest spur to change will be the health and safety benefits to workers on site, Mr Rogers said.

'There is no going back once the unions become aware of what's going on elsewhere and that there are ways of reducing the risk of exposure to emissions, ' he said. 'Good employers will acknowledge that it is part of their duty of care to employees and will want to apply best practice.' In Switzerland, Germany and Austria it is already compulsory for construction machinery to be fitted with filters that comply with the Swiss Vert approval system, he said.

According to Mr Rogers, ocal air quality regulations, such as the proposed Low Emission Zone in London, will also play an important role.

'In Berlin all buses have to be retrofitted. There are Mayor Kens all over Europe, ' he said.

He also dismissed concerns that retrofitting was impractical and costly.

'The technology is there now; it's a question of business providing the hardware to allow retrofitting at low cost on a wide range of machines.

'In markets where such hardware has already been developed, costs vary from £1,000 for a transit van to £10,000 for a unit fitted onto a 500 hp specialised maintenance train.'