You need to consider many health and safety aspects when working in the woodworking industry, whether as an employee or as a manager. You must keep yourself and your employees safe, not just to stay within the law, but also to ensure the safety of any visitors to your site.
To prevent being caught up in any legal snares and to ensure that you are protected as much as possible from accidents, what can or should you do? We offer some advice on how to maintain a healthy and safe woodwork shop.
The Woodworking Industry’s Health And Safety
Maintain a regular assessment
The proper maintenance of your woodworking shop includes keeping it clean and tidy. It is important that you take care of the area in which you work if you want to reduce the risk of accidents occurring.
It is important to ensure that dust and machinery are cleaned and serviced regularly, off-cuts are collected, safety guards are checked, blade changes are performed regularly, and maintenance is being carried out accordingly.
The stress of a busy day or tiredness can cause standards to slip, which can quickly lead to a dangerous workplace. After each job or at the end of the day, you should clear and check to ensure that everything is in order.
Paperwork should be kept
It is your operation’s size that determines precisely what regulations you must comply with and what paperwork is required. No matter the size of your woodworking shop, maintaining your paperwork is good practice. Ensure all product information, such as instructions and maintenance checklists, is readily available, including COSHH assessments and risk assessments.
When you purchase equipment from leading suppliers like Calderbrook Woodworking Machinery, you can be confident that you will receive the right advice and information from the beginning. No matter if you’re looking to buy new, second-hand, or rebuild your existing woodworking equipment, you’ll get all the information you need, along with advice on DC braking and guidance on woodworking machines.
Providing training and supervision
Everyone who uses equipment should receive appropriate training. It is important to determine whether external training resources or supervision from an experienced team member are necessary. Whenever you are working with tools and equipment on your own, it is essential that you exercise sufficient care and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Managing and understanding
Workers’ health can be adversely affected by dust, noise, and hazardous substance contact. Therefore, dust extractors, masks, ear protectors, and suitable clothing must be used when handling hazardous substances.
In order to make sure your premises are safe, you should position your machinery so that the safe movement of people and the most efficient production layout are taken into consideration. There is less chance of accidents when people or products need to move a shorter distance.
Make sure that board materials and timber are stacked safely. Place materials not so high that equipment or people cannot reach them or exceed the weight limits on shelving. Almost 20% of deaths and 13% of serious injuries in the woodworking industry are caused by falling material.
Among the key messages for woodworkers, COSHH emphasizes the importance of workplace dust limits for hardwoods and softwoods, as well as the hazards associated with lubricants, adhesives, paints, stains, and varnishes.
The suggested control measures such as dust extraction, skin checks, and respirators are certainly a good idea to ensure the safety and health of your workforce. Your workshop may also be required to perform health surveillance on employees to check for respiratory and skin issues.