You may not have thought that working with wood could be hazardous to your health. However, wood is considered a carcinogen and can cause cancer. Occupations such as carpenters, furniture makers, loggers, sawmill workers, and builders work with wood often and can be exposed to dust that comes off the wood. Wood can also contain molds, fungi, or bacteria.
Risks Associated with Working with Wood
Some of the risks involved when working with wood can include the following:
- Exposure to chemicals that may be used to treat the wood can have toxic effects on humans.
- Skin irritations from wood can cause dermatitis, which makes skin dry and itchy. Additionally, workers can be at risk for blisters associated with the wood.
- Lung problems, including asthma, can arise by breathing in wood if the exposure is continuous.
- Immediate respiratory irritation can be caused by exposure to wood dust and can cause a runny nose and inflammation around the eyes. The dust can affect the throat and cause shortness of breath.
- Air Filters can be used to reduce the amount of dust in the air.
- Air Exhaust Systems can clear the wood dust from the air with an exhaust fan placed in the area where workers are exposed.
- Install a dust collector on woodworking machines
- Wear a dust mask while doing work in the shop.
- A respirator mask can help prevent inhalation of wood dust. There are cartridges associated with these masks that make them more efficient than a dust mask.
- A powered respirator can be used to pump fresh air into the mask.
Further Precautions Wood Workers Can Take
It is helpful to always be aware of the type of wood you will be working with and know the risks associated with that wood. Vacuum work areas with a HEPA filter vacuum and use a wet cloth for clean up to ensure that no dust is left behind. Keep tool blades sharp to reduce the amount of dust released into the air. Avoiding dust accumulation will not only lower the possibility of inhalation but it will also reduce the possibility of creating a combustible environment. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands and face often while working with wood.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Assist Injured Wood Workers
If you have been injured at work, the Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can evaluate any claims you may have if you have experienced an injury or illness as a result of working with wood. Our office is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state.Contact us today by calling us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.