Wood Dust Inspections from HSE are underway

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsWood Dust Inspections from HSE are underway
July 26, 2023 Posted by Roger Hart

HSE inspectors are visiting businesses across Great Britain in woodworking industries, focusing on the dangers of respiratory risks from wood dust.

The inspections are to ensure duty holders know the established health risks associated with woodworking and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.wood dust

In 2022/23, HSE found 78% of businesses were not compliant in protecting workers from wood dust and other respiratory hazards. This resulted in 402 enforcement actions being taken.

We’ve monitored for soft and hardwood dust exposures for over 25 years now, carrying out dust monitoring in various workshops and factories across the country.  We think it’s unlikely you’ll be aware that hardwood dust levels have reduced in line with a European Directive (the EU Carcinogen and Mutagens Directive (2017/2398).  In compliance with the EU Directive, the limit in Great Britain has fallen from the previous level of 5 mg/m3 (as an 8-hour time-weighted average or TWA) for hardwood dust to 3 mg/m3 in 2020 and then to 2 mg/m3 in 2023.  (Note: this is applicable to hardwood rather than softwood dust but where exposures are mixed, as is common in the industry, then the lower limit will apply).

Note: for any clients who are affected by this change please speak directly to Roger Hart on 01453 800100 to discuss the requirements, similarly, if you’re a new client and need some support on wood dust please either call or request a callback

To ensure your woodworking business is managing the risks and is prepared for an HSE inspection, HSE have produced free resources and guidance to prevent exposure to dust and protect your workers’ respiratory health:  

You can get further information about the campaign through the HSE’s press release..