Can the Fuel You Use Really Improve the Health of Your Crews? Let’s Learn How Propane Equipment Supports Healthy Air Quality

Whether crews are working on a new construction site or renovating an existing building, construction is a dirty business. That’s why keeping workers safe and healthy on the jobsite is a constant focus of construction professionals across the country.

One issue that has become more prevalent on job sites is indoor air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day, which goes to show just how important the air in a person’s work environment can be. Poor indoor air quality can lead to sick employees, absenteeism, and decreased productivity. Notably, the American Lung Association says that U.S. adults miss approximately 14.5 million work days due to asthma.

The energy sources being used on jobsites can have a significant impact on air quality and, subsequently, employees’ health. Using clean, safe energy sources — like propane — can help businesses support healthy air quality. That’s because propane produces fewer greenhouse gas and carbon monoxide emissions than gasoline and diesel equipment. Additionally, propane equipment emits fewer total nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than equipment fueled by electricity, gasoline and diesel.

Notably, propane-powered small-engine jobsite applications can reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 50 percent compared with gasoline-fueled models, according to data from the Propane Education & Research Council. Further, propane equipment reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 17 percent and sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by up to 16 percent compared with gasoline.

Operating propane-powered equipment enables employees to do more in more places, too. Depending on the day and project at-hand, crews could be working in a wide variety of environments — indoors, outdoors, in semi-enclosed spaces, near sensitive populations, or in areas with strict emissions regulations, for example. Propane — because of its low-emissions profile — offers the versatility to operate in properly-ventilated indoor spaces and support healthy air quality for both employees and the surrounding community. Gasoline and diesel equipment, on the other hand, can produce a variety of chemicals and pollutants.

Propane can power a variety of light construction equipment including job site heaters, mobile light towers, portable generators, power buggies, scissor lifts, concrete grinders and polishers, power concrete trowels, forklifts and more — and can do so with fewer emissions than other energy sources. To learn more about propane-powered equipment, visit

Matt McDonald is director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council.

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