Information bite 238: Woodworking Sector to be inspected by HSE

Every year in the UK, around 12,000 people die from lung diseases linked with past exposure to hazardous substances at work. The inhalation of wood dust can cause occupational asthma, and in the case of hardwoods, sinonasal cancer.

This is why from April 2022, the HSE will be sending inspectors to woodworking businesses around Great Britain to ensure that duty holders understand the risks involved with woodworking and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.

HSE Inspectors will be looking for evidence that employers have considered the control measures required to reduce workers’ exposure to wood dusts; workers understand that exposure to wood dusts can damage their long-term respiratory health; and that effective control measures are in place to protect workers from harm.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure they comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to control exposure to wood dusts and protect workers health.

In their latest bulletin, HSE says they will resort to enforcement to keep workers protected.

You can find the latest guidance on woodworking on the HSE website. 


How can we help?
Effects of inhaling wood dust and hardwood dust at work fall under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) legislation. Our COSHH risk assessment services can help you to identify the risks associated with woodworking and dust inhalation. Get in touch on 01708 555 544 to talk to one of our health and safety consultants.