UV light risk assessment

On-site UV light measurement and assessment survey to help you meet your obligations under The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 and to ensure the safe use of UV light within your organisation.

A typical UV light measurement and assessment survey includes:

  • Measurement of UV light spectral output.
  • Measurement of UV light effective irradiance (Eeff) in the spectral region 180 nm – 400 nm at appropriate distances from the UV light source(s), depending on any persons closest proximity and calculation of maximum permissible exposure times for the unprotected skin and eyes.
  • Measurement of UV-A light irradiance (EUV-A) in the spectral region 315 nm – 400 nm at appropriate distances from the UV light source(s), depending on any persons closest proximity and calculation of maximum permissible exposure times for the unprotected eyes.
  • Data collection on personal UV light exposure time for all relevant persons.
  • Observation and recording of all current control measures, including pre-operational checks, safe working practices and hazard awareness training.
  • The calculated maximum UV light exposure times were compared with actual personal exposure time, and combined with current control measures enabled determination of compliance or non-compliance with The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010.
  • Recommendations for additional control measures where necessary.

All findings are detailed in a report, intended to provide those persons responsible for the health and safety of people exposed to UV light from the sources used with the information necessary to either:

(a) Identify their duties and possible obligations to revise existing risk assessments and implement additional control measures and safe working practices under The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 based on the general principles of prevention set out in Schedule 1 to The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

or

(b) Undertake a suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment, implement appropriate control measures and develop safe working practices under The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 based on the general principles of prevention set out in Schedule 1 to The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

It is expected that those persons responsible for consideration of the content of the report and determination of the appropriate actions will have attended our training course on risk assessment and control of personal UV light exposure.

This report deals solely with the hazard of potential adverse health effects to unprotected eyes and skin from exposure to UV light emitted by the source(s) assessed and does not cover any other associated hazards.

The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010, brought into law on 27th April 2010 The European Physical Agents (Artificial Optical Radiation 2006/25/EC) Directive (AORD). This incorporates statutory UV light exposure limit values. It specifies the minimum requirements for the protection of workers from risks to their health and safety arising or likely to arise from exposure to artificial UV light during their work. Furthermore, it dictates that in cases of persons subjected to UV light emissions from artificial sources, employers must determine personal UV light exposure levels and compare with the exposure limit values as a means of assessing risks and necessary controls.

Workers must not be exposed above the exposure limit values and should be provided with specific information and training.

Where personal UV light exposure levels are below the exposure limit values, the risk can be considered low for the majority of the population and adequately controlled so far as is reasonably practicable.

Where personal UV light exposure exceeds the exposure limit values, then this constitutes a regulatory offence and additional control measures must be implemented which decrease exposure to below the exposure limit values.

The exposure limit values are set at a level below which it is believed that nearly all individuals may be repeatedly exposed without adverse health effects. Some people may be unusually photosensitive, exposed to photosensitising agents, aphakic (had an eye lens removed and not replaced by an artificial lens) or pseudophakic (had an eye lens replaced with a non UV light absorbing artificial intraocular lens) in which case the exposure limit values may not provide adequate protection.

UV light exposure limit values within an 8 hour period per day applicable to the UV light sources measured and assessed are as follows:

  • The maximum permissible effective radiant exposure to UV light in the spectral region 180 nm – 400 nm (UV-A, UV-B and UV-C) for the unprotected skin and eyes = 30 J/m2 eff
  • The maximum permissible radiant exposure to UV light in the spectral region 315 nm – 400 nm (UV-A) for the unprotected eyes = 10,000 J/m2

The exposure limit values are derived from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines, which are based on an 8-hour working day and take into account the daily 24 hour light/dark cycle where cellular repair can take place after the exposure is discontinued.

Therefore, in cases where continuous exposure for longer than 8 hours is possible, for example, 10-12 hour extended shifts or even double shifts, special care needs to be taken. An example of special care would be to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which should reduce the personal UV light exposure level to zero.

It is necessary for duty holders to limit personal UV light exposure to ensure that the exposure limit values for the unprotected skin and eyes are NOT EXCEEDED within an 8 hour period per day.

Please contact us to discuss your particular UV light scenario or to schedule an on-site UV light risk assessment.