Wood furniture and windows - Managing occupational health risks

A project looking at how occupational health is managed in wood furniture and window confirmed HSE's suspicions that this is an area that needs improvement.

Visits made by HSE's Occupational Health Inspectors to a selection of small and medium sized companies found that employers needed to know more about the health risks from activities involving:

  • manual handling;
  • exposure to wood dust, paints, lacquers and glues;
  • noise;
  • vibration.

Unless the correct control measures are used these can cause:

  • back injury, sprains and strains;
  • respiratory problems and dermatitis;
  • noise induced deafness and tinnitus;
  • Vibration White Finger.

During the visits, in addition to giving advice and information on these risks and controls, help was also given to employers on how to introduce health surveillance and select a competent occupational health provider. This was particularly important as only one company was found to have any health surveillance in place.

The feedback from the project was that the visits had helped to raise the profile of health issues but it was accepted that companies still had a lot to do.

See health topics for more information.

An image of a dry booth

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Updated 2022-11-10