Safety Library

Firewood processors and dust

FISA has received queries around wood dust when using a firewood processor.

FISA Safety Guide 607 is silent about wood dust but does state “Ensure ventilation is adequate and any exhaust fumes are vented into open air if working in an enclosed space.”

There are many variables in the use of firewood processors in type, location and material being cut. The risk assessment for the operation should consider the resultant wood dust for that situation in both cutting and handling of the saw dust. If the risk assessment suggests wood dust is a hazard then ways of eliminating the operator’s exposure to the wood dust should be explored with PPE as always being the last resort.

If wood dust is clearly identified as an issue, HSE provides guidance on woodworking which may be more appropriate.

Wood dust should also be considered in your COSHH assessment and again HSE offer guidance on woodworking but it becomes quite complex and if you consider yourselves to be in this position specialist H&S input should be sought. See more here.

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