Workshop conditions will vary greatly depending on your business, but Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery Training is a must in any environment.   Ideally woodworking machinery will be well maintained and have the correct safeguards in place.  It should also only be operated by those who are trained and competent to do so and you should be able to prove the users competency.  A woodworker’s safety training program should include Manual Handing, Noise and Hazardous substances (COSHH Training), in addition to the controlling health risks from wood dust and the operational training on any woodworking machinery tools.

Safe use of Woodworking Machinery Training

All woodworkers need safety training and Kentra Training offer a course to provide the knowledge for working safely and efficiently in the work place or on site with Woodworking Machinery.
Variations include : Morticing Machines, Planers & Thicknessers, Band Saws, Radial Arm Saws Drills (including cordless), Table Saws, Spindle Moulders, Sanders.
If any other machine/equipment is of interest please ask and we will be able to advise if it can be accommodated on this course.

This course is designed for candidates of all abilities. We can assist candidates with any learning difficulties or where English may not be their first language.   The one day course is for up to 6 candidates covering up to five different machinery items per course.

So what’s covered on the course?

The course contents includes

  • Responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act, Approved codes of practice (ACOP’s), European Union Directives, Management of Health & Safety Regulation Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulation (PUWER) , Manual Handling Regulation, Personal Protective Equipment Regulation, Work Place Regulation.
  • Safety rules applicable to any machines or equipment being used
  • Pre-operational checks
  • Operating the machinery safety
  • Shut down procedures and end of shift duties.

Learning Outcomes from the course

  • Have a basic understanding of the dangers and their responsibilities as an operator
  • Be able to locate and identify the major components and key controls and explain their functions
  • Select a suitable type of machine relative to the work being undertaken
  • Conduct all necessary safety checks and prepare the machine for use, operate machinery safely and efficiently
  • Storage and transportation and be able to carry out end of shift and shut down procedures
  • Understand the importance of safety in the workplace and in the safe use of work equipment and PPE etc., which will assist in promoting a positive attitude to Health & Safety.
  • Recognise those factors in the workplace which are likely to have an adverse effect on the occupational health, safety & welfare of all those involved.

Portable Tools Training

We understand that not all companies work in a fixed workshop and some tasks maybe completed on-site or on customers premises, for these we offer a Portable Tools Training course.  Very similar to the Woodworking Machinery course above but aimed at equipment such as

  • Floor Saws
  • Morticing Machines
  • Moulders
  • Planers
  • Sanders
  • Lathes
  • Nail Guns
  • Drills

These are just a few examples of the tools which can be covered.  Our one day course includes 5 pieces of equipment for up to 4 candidates.

This training program is unique to Kentra Training and is available with our own Accreditation, or with registration from our Awarding Body NPORS.  Membership with National Plant Operators Registration Scheme is for 5 years and is a Nationally Recognised Awarding Body Scheme.

Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery Training Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery Training Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery Training

Wood Dust

Mentioned in both of these courses are the hazards arising from Wood Dust, explaining what the health and safety risks are, and how they can be controlled.

Types of wood dust

In addition to the tiny particles of wood produced during processing, wood dust can also contain bacteria and fungal and moss spores. The quantity and type of wood dust will depend on the wood being cut and the machine you are using, for example:

  • whether the timber is green or seasoned
  • whether it is a hardwood, softwood or composite board
  • how aggressive the machine cutter or blade profile is

The biggest risk is from fine dust, as you can breathe this deep into your lungs where it will do the most damage. Fine dust will also spread further from the cutting process so it is important to clean ledges and other workroom surfaces regularly to prevent dust accumulating.

Why is it necessary to control wood dust?

Health risks

Wood dust is a substance hazardous to health because it can cause serious non-reversible health problems, including:

  • skin disorders
  • obstruction in the nose, and rhinitis
  • asthma
  • a rare type of nasal cancer

Safety risks

Wood dust is flammable and, in certain situations, can cause a fire or explosion. Every year, premises are severely damaged or destroyed by wood dust fires that usually start in dust extraction equipment. Wood dust explosions in buildings are rare, except in the chipboard industry.
It also makes sense to control wood dust from a business point of view as you will need less time for clearing up, and there will be fewer slips and trips hazards caused by settled dust.

What causes high wood dust exposures?

The following activities are likely to produce high dust exposures, some over long periods:

  • machining operations, particularly sawing, routing and turning;
  • sanding, by machine and by hand;
  • using compressed airlines to blow dust off furniture and other articles (to be avoided) before spraying;
  • hand assembly of machined or sanded components;
  • operations involving processing composite boards, eg medium-density fibreboard (MDF);
  • the bagging of dust from dust extraction systems;
  • housekeeping, especially if sweeping up and using compressed airlines (again to be avoided).

10 Safety Tips For Your Woodworking Workshop

1) Think Before You Cut

The most powerful tool in your shop is your brain, use it. Thinking your cuts and movements through before acting can help save both fingers and scrap wood.

2) Keep a Clean Shop

A cluttered shop is an accident waiting to happen.
Keeping your shop clean will help protect you, and your tools, from tripping hazards.

3) Avoid Distractions

Pay attention to your actions. Looking up to watch the shop TV or visitor can result in your hand contacting the blade. Always wait until you have completed your cut before you take your eyes off the blade.

4)Don’t Rush

Keep in mind that this is just a hobby and take a break when you feel rushed or frustrated with a project. Mistakes happen when we rush to complete a job.

5) Don’t Force It

If your saw is resisting the cut, stop and see what’s wrong. A misaligned rip fence or improperly seated throat plate can sometimes cause a board to get stuck in mid cut. Forcing the board in these situations may cause kickback or contact with the blade. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and determine the problem.

6) Protect Yourself

Wearing the proper shop protection is an important part of safe tool operation. Goggles, Ear Protection, and Lung Protection should be used when operating tools. Use push sticks when working close to the blade and make sure the tool’s safety features are in place.

7) Let the Tool Stop

Giving the power tool time to wind down after a cut is an often-overlooked safety mistake. Even without power, the spinning blade can still do a lot of damage.

8) Fumes and Dust

Solvent fumes and airborne dust can present health and explosion hazards. Care should be taken to ensure a supply of fresh air and use only explosion proof vent fans.

9) Wear Appropriate Clothing

Loose clothing or hair can get caught in power tools and cause severe injury.

10) No Alcohol

Too many woodworkers have been injured because Alcohol clouded their judgment. Avoid their mistakes and wait until after you’re done in the shop.

General Workshop Safety

The hazards associated with shop work require special safety considerations. Whether you work in a metal shop, wood shop, automotive shop, glass shop, or electrical shop, the potential hazards for personal injury are numerous. This chapter highlights essential safety information for working in a workshop. Refer to other chapters in this manual, including General Safety, Electrical Safety, and Fire/Life Safety, for more information on handling many situations.

The following table highlights common shop hazards:

Potential Hazards

Hazard Sources
– Compressed air/gases
– Flying debris
– Noise
– Pinching, cutting, amputation
– Slipping, tripping
– UV radiation
– Oxygen, acetylene, air
– Grinders, saws, welders
– Any power tool
– Vices, power tools, hand tools
– Wood/metal chips, electrical leads, oil, etc.
– Welding
– Overload
– Fire
– Shock
– Too many cables per outlet
– Frayed, damaged cables.
– Ungrounded tools, equipment
– Flammable chemicals
– Sparks
– Static Sparks
– Uncontrolled fire
– Petrol, degreasers, paint thinners, etc.
– Welders, grinders
– Ungrounded tools or solvent containers
– Lack of appropriate fire extinguishers
– Toxic liquids
– Toxic fumes, gases, dusts

– Cleaning solvents, degreasers, etc.
– Welding, motor exhaust, etc.


It is not possible to detail all the risks involved with shop work. However, it is possible to foresee many hazards by carefully planning each job. To prevent accidents, utilize your knowledge, training, and common sense. Evaluate potential sources of injury, and attempt to eliminate any hazards.

Using your woodworking machinery safely will help to promote a safer and more relaxed working environment.

If you have any queries regarding woodworking health and safety training please do not hesitate to contact us.

Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery Training