Understanding wood dust risks

Understanding wood dust risks

Everybody involved in woodworking, from large scale manufacturers to DIY hobbyists, should be aware of the risks wood dust can pose. With this knowledge they can take steps to protect themselves and maximise safety. As part of this they may want to invest in top of the line dust extractors to prevent dusts from building up to harmful levels.

To start it is a good idea to look at why it is necessary to control the situation. Wood dust is made up of small particles and can also contain bacterial and fungal spores. When inhaled, it can lead to obstructions in the nose and rhinitis, asthma, and a rare type of nasal cancer. In addition it can cause allergic reactions and skin disorders. If care is not taken the health of people exposed to the dusts can be seriously affected.

On top of the health risk wood dust also causes some serious safety concerns. Not surprisingly the dusts are flammable, raising the risk of fires and even explosions in some cases. If the dust is allowed to settle on surfaces it can cause slip hazards too.

Due to the risks wood dust is covered under COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). As a result employers are responsible for carrying out risk assessments and taking steps to control exposure to the dusts. The legal requirements must be met, ensuring that everybody on the site where woodworking is taking place is protected.

The best way to control dust is to tackle it at source. Where woodworking is taking place, whether it is machinery or hand tools, dust extractors should be used. An extractor can prevent dust from becoming suspended in the air and moving with it.

At Conway Woodworking Machinery we are committed to providing the very best equipment. We offer a wide range that includes everything from saws to boring and sanding machines. To maximise safety we also provide top of the line Active Air dust extractors. These are reliable and can handle continuous operation.

If you have any questions or would like help choosing machinery to help tackle wood dust risks please contact us.

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