Occupational health and safety issues in Ontario sawmills and veneer/plywood plants: a pilot study.

Verma DK, Demers C, Shaw D, Verma P, Kurtz L, Finkelstein M, des Tombe K, Welton T.
J Environ Public Health. 2010;2010:526487. Epub 2011 Jan 3.

A pilot study was conducted within the Ontario sawmill and veneer/plywood manufacturing industry. Information was collected by postal questionnaire and observational walk-through surveys. Industrial hygiene walk-through surveys were conducted at 22 work sites, and measurements for wood dust, noise, and bioaerosol were taken. The aim of the study was to obtain data on the current status regarding health and safety characteristics and an estimate of wood dust, noise, and bioaerosol exposures. The occupational exposure to wood dust and noise are similar to what has been reported in this industry in Canada and elsewhere. Airborne wood dust concentration ranged between 0.001 mg/m³ and 4.87 mg/m³ as total dust and noise exposure ranged between 55 and 117 dB(A). The study indicates the need for a more comprehensive industry-wide study of wood dust, noise, and bioaersols.

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