From April 2022, HSE Inspectors will be visiting woodworking businesses across Great Britain to ensure duty holders know the risks associated with woodworking, including wood dust, and have adequate controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.
Around 12,000 people die every year in the UK from lung diseases linked to past exposure to hazardous substances at work.
This includes inhalation of wood dust that can cause occupational asthma and, in the case of hardwoods, Sinonasal cancer.
Inspectors will be looking for evidence that employers have considered the control measures required to reduce workers’ exposure to wood dust; workers understand that exposure to wood dust can damage their long-term respiratory health; and that adequate and effective control measures are in place to protect workers from harm.
UPDATED WOODWORKING GUIDANCE AND TOOLS TO MANAGE THE RISK IN YOUR BUSINESS
The HSE released new or revised limits for 13 substances in Jan 2020, and more information can be found here.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS – Employers have a legal duty to ensure they comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to control exposure to wood dust and protect worker’s health.
Further guidance on health and safety in the woodworking industry can be found on the HSE website.
What are HSE Inspectors typically looking for: found out here You can also find out here