How to Safely Work Around Wood Dust

Wood dust is a common hazardous exposure on many construction sites. Although there are several dangers to working around wood dust, there are ways to safely work in an environment rife with these particles.

Wood dust, also known as sawdust can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat in just a brief exposure. It can also cause an allergic reaction to those who are sensitive to toxins used in many common woods used in construction. Excess dust can be a fire hazard if not properly contained.

The best way to prevent exposure to wood dust is by using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Eye protection and face masks will protect stray pieces of wood from entering the body and causing irritation. A long sleeved shirt and long pants will help reduce irritation by minimizing the exposure of skin.

Since saw dust is such a potent fuel in fires, it is important to clean areas of excessive saw dust to prevent a dangerous situation. Daily clean-up is usually required on sites that cut a lot of wood.

To ascertain whether or not your worksite is exposed to dangerous amounts of sawdust, you can find specifics on how to evaluate on the official OSHA website.


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