Wood dust is classified as carcinogenic and a health risk to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

It is also combustible and can cause an explosion. 

So, during any woodworking operations especially in a large-scale setting, you need to have a dust collection system installed. 

These woodworking collection systems have components like dust collectors, ductwork, and filters. 

These systems help in maintaining a clean and safe work environment by removing any airborne wood particles. 

But, you must abide by the rules established by your local regulatory body in order to install an industrial woodworking dust collection system. 

Here are the current permit requirements that align with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in order to protect your employees, your facility, and the surrounding community. 

Comply With NFPA 660

The National Fire Protection Association is developing the new standard NFPA 660 for publication in 2024.

NFPA 660 aims to consolidate other standards dealing with combustible dust to provide clear and consistent requirements like:

  • NFPA 61
  • NFPA 484
  • NFPA 652
  • NFPA 654
  • NFPA 655
  • NFPA 664

And since NFPA 654 and NFPA 664 are still valid standards for industrial woodworking dust collection, the table below illustrates some of their differences.


NFPA 654 NFPA 664
Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
Applies to all industries that handle combustible particulate solids like wood dust, regardless of concentration or particle size. Applies to wood processing and woodworking facilities that handle combustible wood dust.
Identify and evaluate the potential fire and explosion hazards associated with combustible particulate solids or dust. Identify and evaluate the potential fire hazards associated with wood and cellulosic materials.
Requires undertaking measures to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust. Requires constantly checking the dust collection and ventilation systems to prevent the accumulation of combustible wood dust.
Requires installing sprinklers and fire alarms, to protect your facility from fires. Requires fire protection systems, with specific requirements for wood dust.

Pass the Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR)

PSR is an evaluation performed by an engineer who holds a limited license under the Ontario Professional Engineers Act (PEA) or is granted a license by the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). 

In industrial woodworking dust collection systems PSR identifies 

  1. Any potential hazards associated with the collection, handling, and control of wood dust. 
  2. If the system you install or already have in place meets the relevant requirements like airflow rates, ductwork layout, equipment selection, and filtration efficiency.


  1. If there is any high level of risk like insufficient filtration, any potential ignition sources and inadequate ventilation. 
  2. If you have complied with the OSHA standards, local codes, and industry-specific guidelines. 
  3. If you carry out the necessary maintenance activities such as replacing the filters, and carrying out regular system checks. 

Therefore passing the Pre-Start Health and Safety Review ensures that your industrial air management system is safe for everyone around and compliant with all the set codes and standards. 


Meet the required OSHA Regulations 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for industrial woodworking dust collection: 

  • OSHA 1910.1200. It requires you to correctly label and inform employees of any hazardous material they may come into contact with while working. You should also provide the required training so that your employees can know how to safely handle hazardous substances.  
  • OSHA 1910.1000. This regulation deals with setting exposure limits to air contaminants such as wood dust. Prolonged wood dust exposure may cause adverse health effects in workers like coughing, wheezing, allergic reactions, eye irritation, shortness of breath and even cancer. 


Get a Customized Dust Collection System Design Woodwork dust collection systems vary according to your business needs. 

The design has to take into consideration your specific woodworking operations, the type of dust emitted and the available space to filter the dust effectively. This is because the kind of ventilation that works in a smaller space will not be effective in a larger space. 

This is why you should use professionals like A Touch of Brass to design and install your industrial woodworking dust collection systems for your operations. 

We also design your dust collection system, paint booth and make-up air unit to ensure they meet your business needs while complying with the relevant permits and industry standards. 

Book an appointment with us today and let us design and install a dust collection system for all your woodworking needs that meets all the required regulations.