hit counter script Risk assessment
Risk assessment         (Links to syllabus and external sources of information)

 You have to put a value on the risks associated with some of the activities that you may have to undertake during some practical work.

Below is a table showing the type of exam question that you may be faced with. You have to identify possible accident areas, Rate these as low, medium, high, very high. Control measures applies to the safety precautions that you have to undertake to ensure that the hazard identified as low/medium/high  is controlled to ensure safer working.


1 Jig Saws - Dust Extraction


Quote from BS4163:2000.

“A risk assessment should be carried out to evaluate the likely risks to health from inhalation

of wood dust and any action required to prevent of control the risks.” Section 10.6.3 Page 27

“Wood dust has been assigned a maximum exposure limit (MEL) of 5mg/m3. This is a time

weighted average over 8 hours. For substances assigned a MEL, employers have a duty to

ensure that exposure by inhalation is reduced as far as is reasonably practicable and in any

case below the MEL.” Section 10.1 , page 22

“A risk assessment would involve consideration of the dust concentrations inhaled and the

length of time exposed. Jig sawing creates a very fine dust, which remains airborne for a

considerable time and is easily inhaled. Higher dust concentrates are produced from

medium density fibreboard (MDF) than from hardwoods and softwoods.” Section 10.1, page


When carrying out a risk assessment a school would also need to consider the number of

pupils who have respiratory illnesses. For example asthma or pupils who use an inhaler.

In Suffolk many schools have fitted dust extraction to jig saws by collecting dust from below

the saw table. In reality most of the dust stays on the surface of the material being cut and

Suffolk have now developed a system to collect the dust from both below and above the

material being cut. This system will collect virtually all the dust created when using a

jig saw.

Dust extractor system for a Jig Saw.

The system we have designed uses a Numatic dust extractor, model NNV200. It costs

£53.50 from Numatic, Millfield Road, Chard, Somerset, TA20 2GB. Tel: 01460 68600

Please quote Suffolk County Council contract number when ordering from Numatic

There is a huge variation of airflow through different vacuum cleaners / dust extractors and it

is vital for the system to work efficiently to use a machine with at least the equivalent airflow,

40 litres per second, as the Numatic NNV 200.

All our testing indicates that you will need one dust extractor per jig saw and that trying to

use one dust extractor for two machines results in insufficient air flow.