February 21, 2010 Posted by Steve in

Are your employees safe from optical radiation?

Laborelec tests legal compliance of lamps in the workplace

New EU legislation is forcing companies to assess optical radiation emissions in the workplace. As part of this legislation, companies must also ensure that all new lamps comply with regulations relating to their energy efficiency and UV emission. To assist companies in this process, Laborelec is conducting both on- and off-site compliance tests using spectroradiometer equipment.

Checking optical radiation compliance at work

By 27 April 2010, all EU Member States must have implemented the 2006/25/EC directive. This directive lays down the minimum health and safety requirements for the protection of workers from risks arising from exposure to artificial optical radiation. It primarily relates to ultraviolet (UV), blue light, and infrared radiation, and applies to a wide variety of workplace activities. These include, for example, welding in metal work industries, UV sterilization in the pharmaceutical sector, and the various types of lighting in industrial and office spaces. If levels exceed the maximum exposure limits, workers are obliged to wear protective equipment like gloves or sunglasses.

‘A number of companies have already asked us to carry out measurements on their site,’ says Jean-Michel Deswert. ‘These tests are performed using a specialized mobile spectroradiometer, which is placed in areas where workers are at most risk of exposure. The measurements determine whether or not specific protection is required.’

Testing lamp ecodesign requirements

Another EU regulation that was introduced is the 2005/32/EC directive regarding ecodesign requirements for non-directional lamps. Since 18 March 2009, all new lamps must meet specific energy efficiency and UV emission criteria. ‘In order to provide quick answers to a customer’s enquiries regarding lamp tests, we purchased a new spectroradiometer for our laboratory,’ notes Deswert. ‘The Belgian Ministry of Health also requested us to test 75 common low-energy lamps currently available on the Belgian market and to measure their UV emission.

In Short

• Companies must comply with a new EU directive regarding exposure of workers to artificial optical radiation
• Another EU directive introduced recently prescribes specific ecodesign requirements for lamps
• Laborelec carries out on-site and laboratory tests to assess compliance with both these regulations

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