The resources below make up an online toolbox designed to help workers, supervisors, and employers meet the legal requirements outlined in WorkSafeBC policy and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. This toolbox also contains information, training tools, and templates for managing wood dust hazards in your workplace.
WorkSafeBC requirements contained in Prevention Policy Item D3-115-3 Employer Duties - Wood Dust Mitigation and Control, identify reasonable steps for an employer to take to address the hazards of combustible wood dust. Controlling combustible wood dust hazards requires a systematic long-term approach contained in a program. This document is intended to provide guidance on developing and implementing such a program.
This checklist may be used to assist in the development and implementation of a combustible wood dust management program. This checklist should not be used in place of an audit but may be used to prepare for an audit.
Combustible Wood Dust Explosions (video)
Combustible wood dust refers to the fine, dry wood particles that are a by-product of milling wood. This video explains why it's such a hazard in sawmills and wood shops, and also shows how it increases the risk of fires and explosions, which can cause catastrophic injuries, loss of life, and destruction of buildings. Fortunately, these events are preventable.
Combustible Dust in Wood Products Manufacturing: A Shop-Floor Guide for Employers and Supervisors (revised April 2015)
This publication was produced for employers and supervisors as a guide to combustible wood dust-related issues in their daily work environment and to increase their knowledge of combustible wood dust hazard recognition and mitigation. Note: this document was revised to an 8½" x 11" format to facilitate online viewing and printing.
Auditor Worksheet, Questionnaire, and Guideline (revised May 2015)
The wood dust audit, worksheet, questionnaire, and guideline developed by British Columbia's sawmill industry are provided for the purpose of promoting the understanding of management of combustible wood dust hazards. While WorkSafeBC supports the use of these audit resources as valuable safety tools, reliance on the audit resources and any actions taken in connection with them are taken at the users' own risk. Completion of the audit, worksheet, and questionnaire may not necessarily result in compliance with relevant regulatory requirements, and WorkSafeBC reserves the right to evaluate workplace parties' compliance and take enforcement steps as necessary.
Combustible dust hazard: Refusing unsafe work (also available in Punjabi)
Handout for workers - Combustible dust and your right to refuse unsafe work (also available in Punjabi)
Crew talk backgrounder for supervisors and safety managers - Combustible dust and your right to refuse unsafe work
Toolbox meeting guide - Combustible dust and your right to refuse unsafe work
Toolbox meeting guide - Combustible dust: awareness and controls
Toolbox meeting guide - Combustible wood dust: awareness and controls (also available in Punjabi)
Toolbox meeting guide - What is combustible dust? (also available in Punjabi)
Manufacturing Advisory Group Wood Dust Management Web Portal
British Columbia's wood products manufacturers have come together in an unprecedented, voluntary collaboration to advance research and best practices in improving mill safety in response to the devastating explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills. (Source: Council of Forest Industries)
An OSH Answers topic. (Source: CCOHS)
Combustible Dust Hazards: Awareness & Safeguarding
The contents of this presentation represent an amalgamation of current industry understanding of best practices for controlling combustible dust in forest products manufacturing. (Source: BC Forest Safety)
Sawmill Wood Dust Sampling, Analysis and Explosibility
The information from this study of wood dust accumulation and explosibility in B.C. sawmills is intended to assist the sawmill industry's efforts at mitigating risk from dust accumulation. This study does not provide benchmarks or a risk assessment for sawmills. (Source: FPInnovations)
NFPA 664 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities (2020)
Account and login required for free access. (Source: National Fire Protection Association)
This section highlights OSHA standards, rules and interpretations related to wood dust. (Source: OSHA)
AL Solutions Fatal Dust Explosion Investigation
CSB investigation into an explosion at a titanium processing plant. (Source: U.S. Chemical Safety Board)