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COSHH and woodworkers - key messages

WoodworkingSubstances hazardous to health in woodworking include:

Cleaning can give rise to high levels of wood dust in air.

Control measures include:

Example: wood dust.

Wood dust can cause asthma when breathed in. High risk woods for causing asthma include some hardwoods and softwoods such as Western Red Cedar. Hardwood dust can also cause nasal cancer.

Dermatitis may result from work with some types of wood.

You must reduce exposures to all types of wood dust as far below the WEL of 5 mg/m3 as is reasonably practicable. You normally need to use health surveillance (Check employees health for any adverse effects related to work. May involve checking skin for dermatitis or asking questions about breathing and may need to be done by a doctor or nurse.)

Help with identifying the right control is available via the COSHH essentials direct advice sheets.

Visit the HSE Woodworking web pages for more information.


Your employer provides equipment to protect your health, such as

You have a duty to use these properly and co-operate with any monitoring and health.