Leitz tackles the Health and Saftey Executives clampdown on noise and dust

The health and saftey execultive gear up for a clampdown:

Dust and noise has laways been a chief concern within the manufacturing industries. The health and saftey executive (HSE) is challenging businesses to look at ways to improve working practises  as dust and noise are the two leading casues of work-related illness. Simon Liddell, Managing directr of Leitz tooling Uk, talk about tackling the issues of dust and noise in the industy.

With the threat of fines, and in the worst cases: closure, businesses in the manufacturing sector must look at alternative solutions to these challenges. This is particularly relevant in all manufacturing processes. As employers, our duty of care to protect employees means we need to be taking steps to address those issues in our industry.

According to the National Society for Clean Air (NSCA) and Environment Protection, one million people in the UK are working in conditions that may damage their hearing unless precautions are taken.

Considered a silent killer, dust levels are notoriously difficult to visibly assess and harmful effects can take years to develop, excessive amounts can lead to such issues as skin irritation, respiratory problems and even lung cancer.

General principles of protection from the HSE’ state that:

Where it is not reasonably practicable to prevent exposure to dust, a combination of engineering and process controls may be appropriate.
Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems should be built into, and specially designed for, the machine or process that creates the dust. Remember that cross draughts and general air movements can all detract from their efficiency.
For on-tool extraction, it is important to choose parts that are compatible and work together

With these broad principles in place, it’s no wonder that factories are struggling to integrate solutions to avoid health and safety violations.


HSE begin to issue dust related fines:

 Leitz UK talks through the recent fine levied at a London joinery firm for the improper management of wood dust in the manufacturing environment, and how companies can work with Leitz to help create the safe workplaces of the future.

With the recent news of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) handing out a £20,000 fine to a London-based joinery firm for failing to adequately manage its employee’s exposure to wood dust, there’s been an awful lot of discussion about how firms can keep themselves compliant and avoid the fines.

From adjusting your processes to installing new machinery to help tackle the problem, there are a few different ways to help reduce the risk posed by wood dust, but what are the risks posed to employees in the joinery sector?


Eliminating the risk

When it comes to wood dust, the risks really can’t be overstated. Particles of wood, when cut, shaped, or sanded, become airborne, permeating the workshop atmosphere. This airborne dust can be inhaled by workers, leading to a host of respiratory ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, and even more severe conditions over prolonged exposure.

The potential long-term consequences outlined by recent research, such as nasal cancer, further underline the urgent need for preventive measures. Of course, we need to see companies take responsibility for the health of their employees

We often hear dust referred to as a silent killer, as its harmful effects can take years to develop. Excessive dust can lead to skin irritation, respiratory problems, and new research indicates the potential to develop lung cancer.

The HSE provides general principles for protecting you and your workers from wood dust in the workplace:

  • When preventing dust exposure is not feasible, a combination of engineering and process controls may be suitable.
  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems should be integrated into the machines or processes generating dust. It's important to consider the impact of cross draughts and general air movements on their efficiency.
  • For on-tool extraction, choosing compatible parts is crucial.

These broad principles make it challenging for factories to find integrated solutions and avoid health and safety violations.


Leitz tackles Dust directly:

Leitz UK’s approach to tooling to this is to reduce the amount of dust generated in the first place through an end-to-end system to control both dust and noise throughout the manufacturing process.

By improving process production, there's an opportunity to increase productivity as part of the solution, leading to ongoing cost-saving benefits and a safer work environment.

Leitz tooling design and management system provides high-quality cutting and without the need for secondary finishing and sanding in many cases, which reduces tooling wear and lowers costs overall. As well as this, it can mean there are lower levels of atmospheric dust in manufacturing facilities.

Leitz UK’s Dust Flow Control® (DFC) technology is a tooling-to-extraction system that reduces dust and noise. Our DFC extraction hoods are optimised to collect up to 98 per cent of debris and residual dust. They are suitable for double end tenoners and edge banders.

As well as vastly reducing the amount of dust in the atmosphere of manufacturing facilities, our DFC Hoods are able to help reduce the amount of wear that your tooling sustains due to the prevention of double cutting, through specialised chip flow guidance. This will ultimately help to lower your set-up and energy costs as well.  

As the HSE intensifies its focus on dust levels in the workplace, our industry must address these issues through end-to-end solutions that not only save money but also boost productivity. Prioritising health and safety is essential for the well-being of employees and the success of joinery firms across the country.

When we act in the best interest of all of our employees, we’ll have a safer, more secure future, and a better industry overall.


It’s this end-to-end approach that Leitz has focused on in tackling dust and noise on the factory floor.

It is typical to address these issues in isolation rather than looking for a combined solution, resulting in extra costs. By taking a holistic approach to reducing dust and noise, not only is it possible to solve both issues at the same time, but by focussing on improving process production, it provides an opportunity to increase productivity as part of the solution – leading to ongoing cost saving benefits.


DFC extraction hoods are optimised to collect up to 98% of debris and reduce noise by 5dB.

Leitz DFC (Dust Flow Control extraction hoods)

Leitz Diamond Routers

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