The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Woodworking E-Tool provides information to woodworkers on methods of safely dealing with wood dust.
The OSHA Woodworking E-Tool discusses potential hazards of wood dust, and possible solutions such as local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems. Corresponding diagrams are included for visual reference, as well as LEV recommendations for circular saws, band saws, jointers, shapers, planers/moulders, lathes, sanders and routers.
Information on other woodworking safety and health hazards are also featured, broken down into the specific sectors of rough mill, production, assembly, finishing/chemicals, and packaging/shipping. Tips for engineering controls and work procedures for minimizing employee exposure to these hazards are also covered.
According to OSHA, exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. Contact with the irritant compounds in wood sap can also cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions, and respiratory effects of wood dust exposure can include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis.
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