Wood Products Manufacturing

The discussion of wood products manufacturing does not include Logging, which is covered as a separate safety and health topic.

Wood is defined as “the hard fibrous substance consisting basically of xylem that makes up the greater part of the stems, branches, and roots of trees or shrubs beneath the bark and is found, to a limited extent, in herbaceous plants.”  [Merriam-Webster’s dictionary]

Wood Products Manufacturing

Tab/Accordion Items

What hazards are associated with wood products manufacturing?

Physical hazards associated with wood products manufacturing include amputations and fire and explosion, due to improper handling of combustible wood dust and the use of flammable solvents in paints and other finishes applied to wood products.

Health hazards associated with wood products manufacturing include hearing loss due to noise produced by machinery used to cut and shape wood, and narcotic and other health effects due to overexposures to solvent vapors from chemicals used to stain and/or provide a finish to wood. In addition, respiratory sensitization can develop from inhalation of wood dust from different varieties of wood.

What can I do to protect myself?

Be sure that blades along with wood drill and shaping bits are in good condition and sharpened before cutting or shaping wood. Ensure that guards for blades and cutting and shaping bits are in place on equipment before starting the machinery. Use push sticks and feather boards to prevent kickback and amputations when cutting and shaping wood.

Wear eye and hearing protection when cutting, drilling or shaping wood.

Whenever ventilation is not sufficient to maintain airborne concentrations of wood dust or solvent vapors below permissible exposure limits, appropriate respiratory protection should be used. 

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

Example safety and health programs for 1-bromopropane, hazard communication, hearing conservation, and respiratory protection can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace. Employers are also required to perform a personal protective equipment hazard assessment to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards.

Training and Outreach Services

Presentations on hazard communication, noise, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection can be downloaded and modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z topics page on 1-bromopropane, combustible dust, flammable liquids, hazard communication, noise, methylene chloride, and respiratory protection can provide additional resource information. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to wood products manufacturing in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

General Duty Clause

Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

  • Compliance Directive" CPL 02-00-158 establishes the enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, to ensure uniform enforcement.

  • Compliance Directive: CPL 02-01-050 establishes the enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the requirements for personal protective equipment in general industry and to ensure uniform enforcement of the PPE standards.

  • Operational Procedures Notice: OPN 149: Special Emphasis Program for Amputations establishes the OSH Division's Special Emphasis Program to reduce and eliminate the incidence of amputations in the workplace.

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, please email ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or call 919-707-7876.