Woodworking health and safety training is essential to provide a safe working environment around woodworking machinery and equipment.  There are many industries in the UK, from sawmills and industrial timber merchants, to those who use wood such as furniture makers and roof truss manufacturers, not forgetting the wood recycling industry and all of these industries use wood in different ways and process it through many varying activities.

The machinery for these processes will obviously vary greatly in size but the health and safety foundations are the same. Whichever industry you are in, woodworkers need safety training for the equipment they use in their work environment to ensure they are using your woodworking machinery safely.

Woodworking health and safety training


Health and safety in the woodworking industry

What HSE inspectors look for – A quick checklist

Assessing your workshop

Conditions will vary from clean workshops to those where machines are buried under dust and off-cuts. General tidiness is often a good indication of how well other issues are being managed.

Machinery should all be well maintained and have the correct safeguards. It should also only be used by those trained and competent to do so and you should be able to provide evidence of this.

Inspectors will also look at braking and tooling as well as any other safety issues, such as work at height and transport.

There should also be good control of health risks from wood dust (that can cause asthma or dermatitis), manual handling, noise and hazardous substances.

Have the right paperwork

Inspectors will ask to see copies of COSHH assessments and risk assessments if you have more than five employees, and health surveillance records (or summaries).

Only low-level health surveillance (questionnaire-based) is needed for general wood dust but high-level health surveillance must be in place where there is exposure to high-risk woods like Western Red Cedar.

There should be evidence of maintenance and test records for any extraction equipment and instructions for employees on how to use it properly (see extraction section in wood dust).

There should also be written instructions provided to employees covering:

  • training and supervision for machinery;
  • information on health hazards and how to control the risks;
  • how to use and care for dust masks; and
  • how to clean up properly.

Safe use of woodworking Machinery training

Training and supervision

Poor supervision and inadequate training are two of the main causes of accidents. The law requires that all workers must receive adequate training, including refresher training. It also helps to make sure your employees are working efficiently and safely.

Training can be external, in-house or a combination of both however, it must cover the type of machinery and work the operator will be expected to do. This is important if the operator works on more than one machine. If the training is to be carried out in-house you must have competent staff to provide the training i.e. they hold an in-house instructor qualification.

Woodworking health and safety training

Kentra’s woodworking safety training is delivered using a mixture of both classroom based tutorial, practical machine operating, testing and a final course assessment. This will provide the knowledge for working safely and efficiently in the work place or on site with Woodworking Machinery.

Covering equipment such as
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 accommodated on this course.

If you use any attachments these can be included in the assessment and detailed on the training card (if required).

Course Duration: 1 day for up to 6 Candidates : 1 Instructor
Covering up to a 5 different items per course, as above.

During our presentation we discuss Toxic woods and Wood dust as well as the safe operation of the equipment.

When should training be given?

New starters are likely to have the greatest training needs. You also need to think about refresher training for trained, qualified and experienced operators at least every three to five years or sooner if a risk assessment identifies a particular training need. Operators can lose some skills if they don’t use them regularly, so this is particularly relevant at the moment when staff maybe returning from furlough.

Who needs refresher training?

Refresher training is important:

  • for operators who ‘stand-in’ occasionally for the regular operator – at least every three years
  • for someone coming back to a machine they have not used for a while
  • when the system of work changes
  • when new controls have been fitted
  • when new machines or equipment have been brought in
  • after an incident or near miss to show how the incident can be avoided in future
  • after any change in legislation or new guidance
  • for all staff every three to five years

Woodworking health and safety training

How Kentra Training can help

Our trained staff are ready to talk you through the different options for Woodworking health and safety training and Tool Safety training. Even our office staff are trained instructors as we recognise the importance of their understanding of the courses we deliver and their abilities to pass on this knowledge to you.   Get in touch either via our contact us page or give us a call on 01606 832 556, our team is waiting to help.

Kentra Training

Woodworking health and safety training