BWF Supporting the HSE ‘Dust Kills’ Campaign

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The BWF supports the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) campaign to combat occupational lung disease in the woodworking industries.

Each year, around 12,000 people die from work related lung diseases linked to past exposure to hazardous substances at work. This includes inhalation of wood-dust that can cause occupational asthma and, in the case of hardwoods, sino-nasal cancer. Occupational lung disease is preventable if exposure to the risks is effectively controlled.

The HSE are currently inspecting woodworking businesses to ensure employers know the established health risks associated with woodworking, including wood dust, and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health. In 2022/23, the HSE carried out more than 1,000 woodworking inspections and found 78% of businesses were not compliant in protecting workers from respiratory sensitisers (primarily dust from hardwoods, softwoods and composite materials
such as MDF). This resulted in 402 enforcement actions taken by the HSE. Key areas of concern included:

• Housekeeping (including dry sweeping of wood dust)
• Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) maintenance and thorough examination
• Selection of and face fit testing for Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
• Health Surveillance for exposure to wood dust

To ensure your woodworking business is managing the risks,

Visit the Dust Kills woodworking campaign website here
Download HSE free guidance for woodworking here


BWF Supporting the HSE ‘Dust Kills’ Campaign
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