Wood Dust Safety

Did you know wood dust can become a potential health problem when particles from wood become airborne? These particles have the potential to cause allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms, and in some cases cancer. Here’s some information on wood dust safety.

Working in a facility that does business of cutting wood usually has a lot of wood dust lying in piles on the floor, and the air is 9 times out of 10, extremely dusty. An employer that is in this type of business has the responsibility to ensure the employees are not breathing in high concentrations of dust.

Ventilation systems should be installed to eliminate the wood dust in the air. Large piles of dust on the floor needs to be swept up and disposed of properly, to help alleviate dusty conditions. Dust masks should be made readily available to employees, if they want to use them. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), when working around dusty conditions.

This will include:
1) safety glasses or goggles
2) respirators
3) hearing protection to help keep dust out of the ear canal.

Never use portable air, to blow piles of wood dust around, or use an air hose to clean up your work area. All this does is spread the dust around, and contaminates the breathable air.

Remember working in dusty conditions is hazardous to your health, but the health hazards can be minimized if the proper precautions are used.

Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not supercede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations.