RR1017 – Understanding how to improve the management of exposure to wood dust amongst construction sub-contractors and manufacturing SMEs

Literature review

Available evidence was reviewed to develop a better understanding of how to improve the management of wood dust exposure in small and medium-sized construction and manufacturing enterprises (SMEs).

There was a paucity of research, with most papers exploring the factors that broadly influence health and safety (H&S) management in SMEs.

Factors that influence SMEs' behaviours, included:

i) limited resources (particularly for small construction and wood working companies),
ii) a poor awareness of the importance of ill-health prevention,
iii) risk control advice from third parties,
iv) management/peer H&S attitudes, and
v) negative attitudes towards risk controls. Higher levels of H&S awareness and better training provisions were some of the most noteworthy differences found in large compared to small construction companies. Lone working and managing a transient workforce were challenges identified for woodworking and large construction companies respectively.

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Updated 2021-04-15