The HSE wrote to us all in April 2022 highlighting the ill health effects on the inhalation of wood dust. Those of working within the industrial know about the risk of occupational asthma from wood dust however, there is the risk of Sino-nasal cancer when working with hardwoods.
But did you know…….
- Hardwoods have a workplace exposure of 3mg/m3
- Softwoods have a workplace exposure of 5mg/m3
- For a mixture of hardwood dusts, chipboard, fibreboard, MDF and softwoods then the workplace exposure is 3mg/m3
Don’t get caught out
HSE Inspectors will be:
“ inspecting woodworking businesses to ensure duty holders know the established health risks associated with woodworking, including wood dust, and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health. The woodworking industry will be targeted as part of a year-long inspection programme across Great Britain.”
HSE April 2022
How can we help
If you own or run a woodworking business, whether that’s office or garden furniture construction, joinery, carpentry, even training centres there is the potential for exposure to wood dusts from manufactured boards, hard and soft woods.
Be prepared and ensure that you have fully risked assessed your exposure and you are controlling effectively your exposure to wood dust in the air. As wood is classed as a hazardous material you must also make sure you are compliant with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). Compliance with COSHH will lead to the correct health surveillance programme for yourself and your employees.
This talk of HSE inspections and compliance with COSHH regulation can feel quite daunting. Don’t worry we can help by offering:
- Initial walk-arounds with one of our Occupational Hygienists
- Advice and guidance can be given on control measures required
- Review of working practices
- Identification of other substances hazardous to health, eg glues
- Air monitoring for wood dust, (particulate matter) is a vital part of your risk assessment to exposure. Our exposure monitoring covers
- Full shift working practice
- Identification of peak and secondary exposure
- Real time dust monitoring
- Health surveillance programme
- The air monitoring for wood based matter feed into your Health Risk Matrix, which lies at the foundation of your health surveillance programme
- Your Health Risk Matrix reduces the risk of blanket screening across your work force, reducing unnecessary costs and keeps your data accurate.
It doesn’t stop there
Risk Management is a continual process of review. We provide all year support in supporting you and your business. This is not as costly as you may think as we believe at Peritus Health Management that support should never be a financial burden and a barrier to keeping you, your employees and your business safe and compliant.
Director and Senior Occupational Hygienist