Woodworking Industry

OSHA regulates wood dust in the workplace as generally it's produced in large quantities and scattered throughout an area. It poses a very substantial combustion/explosion hazard. Below are the PELs for the main dusts.

  • Nuisance Dust
    • Respirable Fraction: 5 mg/m³
    • Total: 15 mg/m³


Other organizations that influence OSHA's regulations recommend stricter regulations for these dusts and are worth considering.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends a limit of:

  • Respirable Fraction: 1 mg/m³


The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) suggests even stricter limits on wood dusts, especially on this cedar because it's closely correlated with asthma.

  • Wood Dusts
    • Western Red Cedar: 0.5 mg/m³
    • All other species: 1 mg/m³

The ACGIH also details different carcinogenic wood types. In this instance, the lower the number of the group, the more they are hazardous and likely to cause cancer. 

  • Carcinogenicity
    • Oak and Beech: A1
    • Birch, mahogany, teak, walnut: A2
    • All other wood dusts: A4


To view more regulations and recommendations for this industry, visit the following websites.

OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor

ACGIH - American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists

NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NFPA - National Fire Protection Association

EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency

CSB - U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board


Please note, this is a list of common applicable regulations, not a comprehensive list of all regulations applicable to this industry and may not reflect the latest publications.