Artificial Optical Radiation Directive (AORD)

EU FlagThe Artificial Optical Radiation Directive (2006/25/EC) was originally adopted by the European Parliament in April 2006. It sought to protect workers from being exposed to harmful levels of Artificial Optical Radiation in the workplace and each European Member State was required to implement the Directive by the end of April 2010.

The UK situation

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published the ‘Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010’. These regulations require employers to identify potentially harmful sources of artificial optical radiation in the workplace and take measures to eliminate or reduce the associated risks.

Essentially, employers should follow a standard risk assessment protocol for sources of optical radiation. Most light sources such as lamps used for general lighting, if used correctly, will pose no significant risk but some sources will require a detailed analysis.

The Health Protection Agency has produced an extremely useful document known as ‘Guidance for Employers on the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations (AOR) 2010 (PDF)’ which essentially takes you through the process, helping to identify trivial sources of radiation and explaining how to treat more dangerous sources. It may be all that you need to convince yourself that you have nothing but trivial sources in your workplace or allow you to perform your own risk analysis for a potentially hazardous source. If having read this document you think that you may have an issue then give Lucid a call. We are well versed in the somewhat difficult calculations which may be involved and can offer tailored help and advice.

BS EN 62471 Photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems

This is the main standard for assessing broadband optical radiation sources. It introduces a number of different hazard according to the wavelength of the radiation and the damage mechanism involved and lays down exposure limit values (ELVs) for each hazard. It also introduces a scheme for assigning sources into different risk groups ranging from the Exempt Group (very safe) to Risk Group 3 (might cause damage before you can blink).

Any potentially hazard broadband source should be assessed according to this protocol.