Long-term exposure to wood dust can lead to health problems ranging from allergies to cancer. The occupational risks come about when wood is sawn or sanded, creating dust in the process. Construction carpenters are exposed to the widest range of dust because of the different locations and conditions they work in.
The main method of control recommended is dust extraction, also known as 'local exhaust ventilation' or LEV. The extraction should be carried out as close to the process generating the dust as possible.
The effectiveness of temporary dust control on site depends on how it is set up and maintained. Ducting should be of a diameter wide enough to handle the amount of dust generated, without any kinks or choke points that could inhibit airflow. Hoods and ducts should be regularly inspected for blockages. Equipment collecting dust should be left running for some time after the last dust-making activity to enable it to gather in as many as possible of the particles that remain suspended in the air.
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Cleaning wood dust from equipment or clothing should NOT be done by sweeping, brushing or using compressed air lines. Instead an industrial vacuum cleaner holding a class M classification should be used.