How to Protect Your Workers from Wood Workshop Health Hazards

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If your business provides services that involve risk to employees, you must ensure they are protected from these risks. For example, if you need extra protection for your lift-up trucks, you should consider investing in a counterbalance lift truck rear guard in Toronto.

The same thing goes if you run a wood workshop. Due to the wide range of risks and dangers that come with working with wood, health and safety training is essential to keeping workers from getting hurt on the job. As an employer, you are required by law to protect, instruct, train, and watch your workers ensure they do their jobs safely.

Assessing the many risks of woodworking and narrowing them down to something manageable can seem like a big job. But you have to start somewhere, right? One of the things you can start doing first is by investing in premium downdraft tables for your Ontario-based business.

Ideally, you should make it a habit to always think of the health and safety risks your workers face daily on the job.

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Common Health and Safety Risks and How to Handle Them

Compliance with health and safety standards is a team effort. You need to know your industry’s rules and common dangers and tell your workers about them.

Here is a list of some of the most common health and safety risks when working with wood, along with ways to avoid them.

Hygiene

Hygiene can seem less significant compared to woodworking’s more obvious dangers. But hygiene is essential, especially taking care of your hands. Hands are most likely to come into contact with dangerous materials.

Ensure your employees wash their hands often throughout the day, and don’t let them use thinners, gasoline, or turpentine to clean their hands, as this could be a fire hazard.

Wood Dust

When you sand and plane wood, you naturally produce dust. Breathing in this dust can lead to nasal cancer and other serious lung problems.

Invest in a ventilation system to eliminate harmful wood dust in your employees’ workspace. Dust lamps can help track and control the spread of dust by shining light on the dust that is too small to see with the naked eye. It is very important to have eye and mouth protection.

Hazardous substances

Although the woodworking industry deals with mostly wood, it has a surprising number of dangerous materials. Some things, like wood preservatives or epoxy resins, can cause severe dermatitis, a skin condition caused by irritation if you breathe them in or touch them. Employees should wear the right gloves and body protection when handling dangerous chemicals.

Working at height

When working at a height, employees should take every precaution. Hire someone to do a risk assessment to determine your workers’ risks. Use edge protection to keep workers and their tools from falling off the edge. Use crawling boards or roof ladders to check for fragile roofs.

Slip, Trips, and Falls

Slips and trips are dangerous because they can happen to anyone, anywhere. Tell your workers to wear shoes that won’t slip and to clean their work areas often during the day. Stress that slips and trips affect everyone in the workplace, so everyone should work to stop them by cleaning up spills or debris, even if they didn’t cause them.

Manual Handling

Woodworking is hard, so help your workers by teaching them safe ways to lift. If a load weighs more than 20 kilograms, workers should make special arrangements to lift it. Tell your employees that they shouldn’t lift in awkward ways or do the same thing repeatedly.

Hand and Power Tools

Before using them, employees should always check all hand tools and equipment for problems. Check to see if employees are using tools correctly and only using the ones they have been trained to use. Keep up-to-date maintenance reports so you can judge the safety of the tools.

Electricity

 Unless they know otherwise, your workers should treat all cables as live. Electric shock is one of the biggest risks in building projects. All cables should be kept off the ground, and tools and cables should never be fixed in a hurry. As much as possible, try to cut down on extension leads.

As an employer, you must carry out the said ways to protect your workers from the listed wood workshop health hazards and conduct safety inspections. There are still other possible hazards you should look into, so consider conducting a risk assessment to check the current needs of your workplace.