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Lasers - HSE consultation on EU optical radiation directive (2006/25/E

Stewart Newlands

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The Health and Safety Executive has launched a consultation on how it plans to implement a European Union directive to protect workers from hazardous sources of artificial light.


The artificial optical radiation directive (2006/25/EC) covers intense sources of artificial light in the workplace, particularly from UV radiation and powerful lasers, which can harm the eyes and skin of workers.


It aims to ensure that standards are set and harmonised across the EU so all workers are protected from harm arising from exposure to hazardous sources of artificial light. The HSE says the draft regulations are designed to ensure that businesses do not face unnecessary additional burdens where there is no risk of harm to workers. Common sources of light in the workplace, such as office lights, photocopiers and computers, will not be affected by the regulations.


The chair of the Executive, Judith Hackitt, said: “HSE wants to ensure all workers benefit from this directive, and the draft regulations present a good opportunity to meet our aim. These regulations will impact on a small number of at-risk businesses who use hazardous-light sources as part of their work activities, and who are n


The consultation document can be viewed here.



Interested parties and businesses are invited to comment on the draft regulations before the beginning of February 2010. The HSE aims to introduce legislation by 27 April 2010.

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