Laser and Optical Product Testing
In the UK all persons who supply electrical equipment in the course of business are required by regulation to declare compliance with the Low Voltage Directive. This means that each of the following persons much take responsibility to ensure the equipment is safe:
- Wholesalers and Distributors
Lasers and Lighting Products
Many types of Laser and some other Light Sources can produce light that is harmful to human eyesight and skin tissue. For these reasons European wide product safety standards have been developed to assist manufacturers and suppliers of these products in delivering goods that meet the minimum standards of safety. Lasers and lighting products are covered under two separate standards manufacturers should be testing against and classifying in order to declare CE conformity. The obligation for lighting products came into force across the EC in March 2010.
For Lasers products there is the well-established BS EN 60825-1:2014 safety standard, whilst for Lighting products there are the more recent BS EN 62471:2008 lamp safety standard, and its accompanying PD IEC/TR 62471-2:2009, guidance to manufacturers.
In addition to the product safety standards, Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places general duties on the manufacturer or supplier of any equipment used in the workplace to be safe and without risks to health when used properly, and that adequate safety information is supplied with the product.
The latter point on information and warnings is further reinforced under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 1998). LVR Limited have extensive experience in performing product classification tests for laser products, reporting and advising on compliance and safety features required by the standard. More recently, LVR having been carrying out evaluation and assessment work, with the assistance of the National Physical Laboratory, with non-coherent light sources to determine product Risk Group information that manufacturers and suppliers of high output light sources should be supplying to assist users in meeting their obligations under the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010.