Any airborne contaminants are a cause for concern, but one of the main offenders in the dust world is wood dust.
Workplace dust is unavoidable on-site. Whether your cutting, sawing, sanding, or drilling, many day-to-day tasks produce both fine and large dust particles which, when inhaled, can be harmful to your body.
What’s the damage?
Our bodies are able to filter out any large particles that may enter our respiratory system, however the smaller particles can go deep into our lungs which overtime can lead to damage and scarring of lung tissue.
This damage reduces the lungs ability to take in oxygen, which means over a period of time, it’s going to make it harder to breathe and can cause problems such as asthma and lung cancer. It’s not just the wood that’s the issue either… glue, resin and other treatments on the wood are also harmful and increase the risk even more.
As well as our breathing, dust can also cause issues with our eyes, causing irritation and damage, and our skin, which can lead to irritation and dermatitis.
That’s why it’s important that you cover your bases, which we’ve outlined below.
Controlling wood dust in the workplace
Education is key when it comes to making sure your workers understand the risks of wood dust. To ensure you and your team are up to speed, we recommend regular training, which can be done at your weekly toolbox talks.