UK plans for implementing Artificial Optical Radiation Directive

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released a consultation
document outlining how it plans to implement a European Union (EU) Directive to
protect workers from hazardous sources of artificial light.

Intense sources of artificial light in the workplace, particularly from UV
radiation and powerful lasers, can harm the eyes and skin of workers and need
to be properly managed.

Examples of hazardous sources of very intense light that pose a 'reasonably
foreseeable' risk of harming the eyes and skin of workers and where control
measures are needed include:

  • Metal working - welding (both arc and oxy-fuel) and plasma cutting - mainly
    eye damage

  • Pharmaceutical and research - UV fluorescence and sterilisation systems -
    mainly skin burn

  • Hot industries - furnaces - eye and skin damage

  • Printing - UV curing of inks - mainly skin burn

  • Motor vehicle repairs - UV curing of paints -mainly skin burn

  • Medical and cosmetic treatments - laser surgery, blue light and UV therapies - eye and skin damage

  • Research and education - all use of Class 3B and Class 4 lasers - potentially permanent eye and skin damage

Less common hazardous sources can be associated with specialist activities
- for example companies manufacturing or repairing equipment containing lasers
which would otherwise be hidden.

More info - Source: Health and Safety Executive