A Norfolk woodworking company has been fined £25,000 for failing to control its employees’ exposure to wood dust.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection of The Joinery Yard Limited at Sweet Briar Road industrial estate, Norwich in November 2019 identified failings in the company’s control measures to prevent exposure of their employees to wood dust. As a result, enforcement action was taken.
Wood dust is a respiratory sensitiser that can cause long term health effects including occupational asthma.
A subsequent inspection in July 2022 showed that the company had failed to maintain standards and enforcement action was taken again. This inspection identified ongoing failings in the company’s control measures and found that they had failed to take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of workers exposed to wood dust.
At a hearing at Magistrates’ Court on 4 October, The Joinery Yard Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Section 2 (1). They were fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2681.77.
To protect workers, throughout 2023/24 HSE is inspecting a variety of woodworking businesses. Inspectors will check that woodwork is planned correctly to minimise risk; and that adequate control measures are in place to protect workers’ health.
Don't risk the health and safety of yourself, or your employees. Ensure you have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.
If you require health and safety training, such as Face Fit Testing, don't hesitate to get in contact: