Changes to hardwood dust exposure limit

10 January 2020

The workplace exposure limit for hardwood dusts have now changed under EU Directive 2017/2398. Until now the exposure limits for both softwood and hardwood was 5 milligrams per cubic meter (5 mg/m3).

Exposure levels have now dropped to 3 mg/m3 for hardwood and any dust mixes that contain hardwood. It is also worth noting that this is a transitional exposure level, levels are due to drop to 2 mg/m3 in January 2023. 

Who does this effect?

  • Any business that creates dust from hardwood or products that are likely to contain hardwood. Because of the potential health problems, wood dust is covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).

What should I do?

  • Complete a risk assessment to ensure you are adequately controlling the risk 
  • Provide suitable Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) and Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
  • Check that your air sampling results remains under the new workplace exposure limit of 3 mg/m3 
  • Ensure you are completing health surveillance 
  • Provide information to your staff on the risk associated with wood dust
  • If you are in any doubt please contact us to discuss further.