July-August 2019

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24 PalletCentral • July-August 2019 he U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently cited a pallet company after a follow-up inspection found employees continued to be exposed to wood dust. The company faces penalties of $188,302 for repeated, serious, and other-than-serious safety and health violations. Inspectors determined that the pallet manufacturer failed to implement sufficient engineering controls to limit dust exposure, as well as train employees on the health hazards of wood dust. OSHA had previously cited the company for these hazards in 2016. Additional citations were issued after the follow-up inspection for failing to evaluate respiratory hazards, medically evaluate and fit test employees using respirators, inform employees of their right to see exposure records, and use adequate machine guarding on band saws. "Employers are legally required to ensure that exposures to dust are properly evaluated and managed to protect employees from potential health hazards," said OSHA's Madison Area Office Director Chad Greenwood. This article compiles wood dust exposures and solutions from the OSHA website: Exposures and Solutions Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. Contact with the irritant compounds in wood sap can cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions. The respiratory effects of wood dust exposure include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis. Circular Saws Exhaust the saw through the bottom of the table. Provide local exhaust ventilation (LEV) under the blade slot. To decrease the open area between the table and the lower hood, attach a strip of flexible material to the machinery that will cover this area when the hood operates. For increased dust control, add a local exhaust hood above the top of the saw blade. The hood should be integrated with the guard on the upper part of the blade. For further information on control of wood dust from circular and other kinds of table saws, please consult the NIOSH Hazard Controls HC10. Band Saws Provide LEV under the blade slot. To increase the collection area of the hood, add holes (1/8 inch in diameter) in the table around the slot area. To collect wood dust from the saw teeth, place a suction nozzle above the table, at the rear of the saw blade. T INDUSTRY OSHA on Wood Dust Exposures & Solutions OSHA has standards to limit the exposure to wood shavings, chips and dust in the workplace.

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