HSENI Inspection Campaign on Woodworking Businesses

Date published: 29 June 2017


The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) will be undertaking a focused Inspection Campaign on Woodworking Businesses throughout Northern Ireland during October 2017.

Woodworking Inspection Campaign

The emphasis of the campaign will be on how woodworking businesses control risks from wood dust, maintain machinery guarding, and have up to date Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) records to ensure that the system has been examined within the last 14 months, in compliance with regulations.

Wood dust is a known respiratory sensitisor and it is known that exposure to hard woods can cause cancer.

Throughout the Inspection Campaign, HSENI Inspectors will expect that:

  • Safety risks are controlled
    • machinery is guarded adequately
    • braking devices are fitted to ensure run down times are within 10 seconds unless it can be proved that this is not required
  • Health risks are controlled
    • Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) is provided to control wood dust
    • LEV has records showing that it has been thoroughly examined within the last 14 months, or evidence that you have it planned for a specific date
    • Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) is provided to the correct standard

Where Inspectors find the above are not in place, Enforcement Action, in the form of Improvement and Prohibition Notices, will be issued.

In preparation for the inspections, woodworking businesses should adhere to the following:

  • check your machinery guarding is to the correct standard
  • check the run down times
  • organise someone to thoroughly examine and test your LEV system
  • check the standard of RPE you provide, and get your employees face fit tested

Notes to editors: 

  1. HSENI has a free Business Advisory Service for small to medium sized companies. Contact a Business Advisor to arrange a meeting on 028 9024 3249.
  2. Further information can be obtained from the HSENI website www.hseni.gov.uk or from the following link: https://www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/woodworking
  3. For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249, or email media@hseni.gov.uk. For out of office hours please contact Duty Press officer via pager number 076 2397 4383 and your call will be returned.

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