!!! Due to the current problems in the supply chain, Delivery times, prices and specifications are constantly changing please contact us prior to ordering to get up to date information.!!!


Your Cart is Empty

Adhering to Health and Safety Regulations in the Woodworking Industry

February 20, 2024 3 min read

Anyone who works within the woodworking industry is in no doubt of the danger posed by the high-speed cutting machinery, as well as the risks posed by working with wood dust, noise and vibration.

Indeed, according to the Health and Safety Executive the industry has some of the highest accident rates in the manufacturing sector. This is partly due to accidents relating to the use of moving machinery, with circular saws accounting for many of these and necessitating a trip to hospital with serious and sometimes life-changing injuries.

Here at Calderbrook, we want all our customers to be able to work safely. Therefore, we have put together this guide which explains how to keep your workshop free of avoidable hazards.

The Impact of Ignoring Health and Safety Regulations
The cost to the health of workers can be considerable. Not only from physical injuries caused by machinery but also the impact on general health must be considered with HSE statistics reporting around a million workers taking time off suffering from a work-related illness such as breathing difficulties, skin problems or noise and vibration-induced illnesses. Sadly, there is also an average of one worker fatally injured at work on most days.
It is not only the effect on employee health either. If a workplace is found to be in breach of HSE regulations an employer can be liable for the HSE’s inspection, investigation and enforcement costs.

The Rules
Employers are responsible for the safety and welfare of their workers under regulations laid down under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This rule also makes clear that workers are also responsible for their own and colleagues’ health and safety in the workplace.
● The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to carry out regular and suitable risk assessments and introduce measures where needed to protect workers and prevent accidents.
● The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 protects workers against health risks posed by hazardous substances including wood dust and adhesives.
● The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 alongside a rule called L114 Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery requires equipment to be suitable and safe and must not endanger health and safety regardless of its age, condition or origin.
● The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 requires employers to avoid, assess and reduce the risk of injury to workers from manual handling.

Improving Safety
So, how can employers and workers ensure safe working practices in a busy working environment?

Obviously strict adherence to Health and Safety Regulations is paramount at all times. The HSE advises that risk management alongside staff training is essential. Risk assessments should be conducted regularly to reduce the chances of an accident. All workers within the woodworking industry are required by law to have adequate training and supervision which is appropriate for the equipment they will be using. They should also have regular refresher courses to keep up with industry developments. Attention should also be given to the layout of work areas; this means keeping all areas tidy and free from hazards. The use of protective barriers where necessary is recommended.

Finally, anyone working with woodworking equipment should take it upon themselves to familiarise themselves with the associated dangers and what they should do to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.

If you think you could benefit from updating your machinery to make your workshop safer, why not get in touch. We would be happy to discuss what equipment could help to reduce risks within your facilities.