Did you know that prolonged exposure to wood dust in your workspace could take a serious toll on your health?
You could suffer from asthma, allergic reactions, chronic bronchitis, and potentially even cancer if you spend long periods of time breathing in wood dust. You could also end up breathing in certain resins, glues, and even formaldehyde if you regularly work with certain wood products.
With these things in mind, there are some steps you should take to avoid the health risks commonly associated with wood dust. They’ll help you steer clear of taking in too much dust when you’re sawing, cutting, or sanding wood.
Here is a guide on how to deal with wood dust in your workspace.
Purchase Pre-Cut Wood Products Whenever Possible
The easiest way to cut down on the amount of wood dust in your workspace at any given time is to cut down on the amount of sawing, cutting, and sanding you do.
It’s probably not going to be possible for you to cut sawing, cutting, and sanding out altogether. That might render your workspace useless.
You can purchase pre-cut wood products in certain instances to steer clear of creating unnecessary dust in your workspace. It’ll allow you to limit the wood dust while still providing you with the wood products that you need.
Wear a Dust Mask When Working With Wood
Any time you plan on being around wood dust for an extended period of time, you should always wear protective clothing. The last thing you want to do is let dust to sit on any part of your skin since it could lead to dermatitis and other skin problems.
You should also get into the habit of washing your hands and your face every so often to remove dust from them. This will, again, limit the effect that dust can have on your skin.
But maybe most importantly, you should strap a dust mask over your face to prevent dust from making its way into the air you breathe. A simple dust mask will reduce the amount of dust that makes its way into your lungs dramatically.
Attach a Vacuum Directly to Your Tools
Whenever you’re sawing, cutting, or sanding wood, a great way to control dust is by cutting it off at the source. The dust won’t be able to make its way into the air if you have something to stop it from getting there.
There are shop vacuums that you can utilize to suck up any dust that is created by your power tools. This will minimize the amount of dust in the air greatly and prevent it from spreading throughout your workspace.
This is one of the most effective ways to keep dust out of the air and to keep your workspace more comfortable for both yourself and others.
Avoid Using a Fan to Try and Control Dust
There are some people who mistakenly believe that using fans to control dust is a the correct procedure. This couldn’t be any further from the truth and can actually make things worse in your workspace.
If you turn a fan on in a very dusty room, it’s not going to clear the dust out. It’s simply going to send the dust flying all over the place and prevent it from settling. It’ll increase your chances of you breathing it in when it’s flying through the air.
Make sure your fans are shut off before you start sawing, cutting, or sanding wood. Make sure they stay off until the dust has settled and has been cleaned up.
Additionally, you should avoid using blowers or compressed air to deal with the dust.
Install a Dust Collector Machine
While vacuums can help control wood dust in your workspace, the best way to tackle a dust problem is with a dust collector machine.
Dust collector machines are specifically designed to clear the air in your workspace and make it safe for you. They work by gathering up all of the dust inside of a bag so that it can’t do you any harm.
However, you do need to make an effort to clean out your collection bags regularly and replace them with new ones.
Invest in heavy-duty collection bags from the beginning that will store large amounts of dust without a problem. There are also other air filtration devices that you can use to get the most out of your dust collector machine.
Limit the Time You Spend in Your Workspace
If you spend eight hours in your workspace every day breathing in the air inside of it, you’re obviously not going to be doing your respiratory system any favors.
Even if you have a dust collector in place and it’s doing a great job, you should still take breaks every now and then and leave your workspace. Go outside and breathe in some fresh air so that you aren’t constantly surrounded by dusty air that’s no good for you.
You should also encourage others in your workspace to take breaks as well.
Don’t Let Wood Dust Affect Your Workspace Anymore
Are you working in your workspace regularly without a dust collector in place?
Now is the time to purchase one so you can start using it. Otherwise, you could put yourself in a tough spot later when you begin to suffer health conditions due to wood dust inhalation.
Get into the routine of cleaning out your dust collector’s collection bags, too. By doing it, you’ll find that your workspace will have a lot less dust in it and will be a much more pleasant place to work.
Check out our blog to learn more about dealing with dust and improving the air quality in the space in which you work.