Monday, 11 July 2016 17:15

Are You Managing Sawdust Exposure in Your Plant?

If you manufacturer products from wood you know about the importance of managing sawdust expose in your plant.   Since the early 1990’s wood dust has been officially regulated as an organic dust in a category known as "Particulate Not Otherwise Regulated" (PNOR), or Nuisance Dust.  It has not been cited as a hazardous material that needed to be controlled.

White Oak RipsHowever, in general, the industry has continued to meet a standard of wood dust exposure of 5 mg/m3 on a voluntarily basis. 

Recently, wood dust exposure has been in the news.  A few months ago, the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health in California (CAL-OSHA) proposed a new State law to set the exposure limit of wood dust to 1 mg/m3 which could have a significant impact on manufacturers that utilize wood as a raw material.

Today, manufacturers manage the wood dust exposure in their environments in many different ways.  From utilizing worker masks and respirators to installing dust collectors and industrial sized air filtration systems, manufacturers find a way to make their operations safe for their employees. 

In most woodworking plants, sawdust is created primarily at four workcells: 

  1. Planing
  2. Ripping
  3. Moulding
  4. Sanding

A popular way to reduce the creation of sawdust in a plant is to leave edgewaste and dust at the mill, and purchase pre-planed and ripped-to-width material as a primary sourcing strategy.

Many times our customers will choose to purchase SLR2E hardwood lumber instead of random width lumber.  By doing so they often times are seeking to either augment their own existing production or replace a cell in which they no longer wish to function.  They purchase specific hardwood moulder blanks in exact width dimensions in order to improve manufacturing efficiencies, increase lumber yields and yes, reduce waste, like sawdust, generated in the plant.

Consider this the next time you need to order your next truck load of hardwoods and let us know if we can help you do something different.

Bob Uglow
Baillie Lumber Co.
Hardwood Ripping Division
Hamburg, New York 14075
Cell: 407-496-4146
Office: 800-950-2850
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