In the wood workshop

This information is for woodworkers, carpenters and joiners. It gives information on things in the workplace that could damage the lungs and advice on how to protect them.

What are the hazards?

These are some of the hazards you may come into contact with at work.

  • Dust from wood

    Created when working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood.

  • Isocyanates

    Found in products including paints, coatings, foams, glues and flooring.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung conditions like COPD and lung cancer

If you smoke, you will be at a much higher risk of developing a lung condition.


How can your health be affected?

How to protect yourself

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure the work environment is appropriately ventilated and that you are provided with protective clothing and appropriate safety advice.

Here are five easy things you can do to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect your lung health at work.

  • Assess Risk

    Do risk assessments to make sure you are doing jobs safely and efficiently.

  • Work carefully

    Try not to make too much dust.

  • Ventilation

    Make sure that your work area is appropriately ventilated so that cleaner air can come into the room.

    Make sure you have a dust extractor and that it is switched on and working.

  • Keep it clean

    • Use an industrial vacuum to clear dust from the floors, walls and rafters
    • If using a brush wet the dust before sweeping it up
    • Avoid getting dust on your own clothes and hair – wear overalls and headgear
    • If wearing your own clothes, wash them regularly and leave them at work – do not wear them at home
  • Health check-ups

    Get your health regularly checked – either through a health scheme at your workplace, or by regularly seeing a healthcare professional.

More information