A preliminary investigation on the occupational exposure to laser radiation in Greece

Georgios Andrew Gourzoulidis, Themistoklis Boursianis, Thomas G. Maris, Ioannis Sianoudis, Anastasios Achtipis, Panayota Stasinopoulou, Constantine Kappas


Purpose: The term optical radiation refers to the ultraviolet (UV), the infrared (IR) and the visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The relevant occupational exposure legislation, Directive 2006/25/EC, employs limits and Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) regulations for laser (coherent) and non-coherent artificial optical radiation (AOR). Lasers are widespread mainly in health care facilities, industry, cosmetology applications, research and entertainment installations. The harmonisation of the safety approach is challenging.

Material and Methods: The Directive has been transposed to the Hellenic legislation, containing all its requirements. However, there is no sufficient progress towards the Directive’s practical implementation, mainly concerning the conducting of the required integrated risk assessment by qualified experts (namely: Laser Safety Officers-LSOs) and the overall safety management of the laser installations. The measurements of the appropriate optical quantities are a vital part of the risk assessment and reveal technical difficulties, therefore assumptions have to be made about the way the laser beams may reach (mainly) the eye; the procedures, the geometry and the involved materials imply specific exposure/accident scenarios for each assessed workplace.

Results: Measurement results from cosmetology, research laboratories and a material processing industry revealed safety gaps, identifying overexposures not only for the “obvious” primary beam’s exposure; scattered beams implied by the installation’s geometry were also above the limits. The training of the personnel was also found to be poor.

Conclusions: The detected misapplication of the overall laser safety procedures justifies the need for detailed investigation and future actions by the involved Authorities.


Laser safety; Directive 2006/25/EC; Occupational health and safety (OHS); Laser safety officer (LSO)

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.36162/hjr.v4i2.262


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