Working in a sawmill is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. The equipment poses numerous hazards. Massive weights and falling, rolling, and/or sliding logs can be very dangerous. The woodworking operations of a sawmill can also be hazardous, particularly when machines are used improperly or without proper safeguards. Woodworking employees often suffer from the following injuries: lacerations, amputations, severed fingers, and blindness. Wood dust, and chemicals used for finishing products, may cause skin and respiratory diseases. Sawmill hazards are even more dangerous when environmental conditions are factored in, such as uneven, unstable, or rough terrain; inclement weather; or isolated work sites where health care facilities are not immediately accessible. Sawmill hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry.
This section highlights OSHA standards and state standards related to sawmills.
Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
Frequently Cited Standards
OSHA maintains a listing of the most frequently cited standards for specified 2-6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Please refer to OSHA's Frequently Cited OSHA Standards page for additional information. For Sawmills use NAICS code 321113, for Other Millwork (including Flooring) use NAICS code 321918, and for All Other Miscellaneous Wood Product Manufacturing use NAICS code 321999 in the NAICS search box.
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
Hazard and Solutions
Related Safety and Health Topics Pages
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