health risks in the woodworking sector

From April 2022, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be visiting woodworking businesses across the UK to ensure that the duty holders are aware of the risks associated with the industry. Making sure that they have the correct and appropriate controls in place to ensure the good health and safety of their workers. 


Tip for ensuring good health and safety in the woodworking sector 


Keep worktops and stations clean

Clean and tidy workstations are a good idea of how well businesses implement health and safety guidelines. Cut-offs and dust should be regularly cleaned away and disposed of to ensure machinery works properly, and no tools are hidden amongst the debris. 


Keep tools and machinery stored in their proper place 

Any tools should be stored in a designated area. This could have a lock, and a log could monitor who removes the items, and when they are returned. This ensures that no tools are misplaced or go missing, meaning employees are at risk of accident finding this item and injuring themselves.


Machinery should have the correct safeguards 

When machinery is not in use, there must be the correct safeguards in place. Not only to protect workers and employees but to ensure machinery isn’t damaged accidentally, meaning it is not safe to use. 


Workers should be fully trained 

The woodworking industry is high-risk and can be potentially dangerous because of the tools and machinery that are used daily by employees. Ensuring that each member of staff is fully trained in the machinery that they will be using is important. That they know how to turn it on, alter the settings, operate it safely and what to do in the event of an emergency. 


PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Whilst machinery can be potentially dangerous, wood dust can cause health issues. Causing asthma and dermatitis. Workers should have access to personal protective equipment such as masks and goggles. In addition, PPE can include gloves, boots, workwear, and earmuffs, all of which can protect the worker’s health and safety when working with machinery, and in noisy environments. 

If your employees wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), it’s vital to ensure that this provides adequate protection. However, employers should consider that one size does not fit all. That’s why Face Fit Testing ensures that the RPE is protecting the wearer from inhaling potentially hazardous substances.


Contact Us 


Our Health Surveillance services are designed to monitor the health of employees, to ensure they are protected and supported when working. The assessment will highlight any risks, particularly when working with COSHH

For more information on how our services can benefit your woodworking business, get in touch. Call us on 01260 277797 or email us at

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.