Artificial Optical Radiation

Artificial optical radiation is non-ionising radiation such as artificial infrared (IR) radiation, ultraviolet (UV) radiation and visible radiation.

A risk assessment of the work itself and the total amount of radiation to which staff working with artificial optical radiation may be exposed should be carried out. Such risk assessment should also include potential indirect risks such as fire, explosions, smoke and gas formations. Preventative risk reducing measures must be taken and protective equipment against radiation used. Working with artificial optical radiation requires a high level of knowledge and training. Equipment, laser tools, etc., must be properly labelled and include emergency information and warnings.

Laser safety goggles should be used if there is a risk of eye exposure. Employers who allow their members of staff to work without laser safety goggles when there is a risk of eye exposure may be imposed a fine (SEK 400,000.00 for organisations with more than 500 employees).

Working with Class 3B and Class 4 lasers requires the appointment of a Safety Supervisor for the purpose of monitoring and ensuring laser safety in the workplace. A danger zone shall also be identified and marked with warning signs. The danger zone may only be accessed by members of staff authorised to operate or maintain the laser or assist with the laser work.

Working with Class 3B and Class 4 lasers indoors requires that the trajectory of the laser beam is encapsulated or shielded and that the laser path ends in a beam dump (with the exception of some medical applications). If there is no encapsulation or shielding, a fine may be imposed of up to SEK 400,000.00 for organisations with more than 500 employees.

In addition, artificial optical radiation must not exceed the limit values set forth in Annexes I and II of SSMFS 2009:07. If these limit values are exceeded nonetheless, the employer must:

  1. take immediate action to reduce exposure to below the limit values,
  2. investigate what may have caused the limit values to be exceeded, and
  3. take all necessary measures to prevent the limit values from being exceeded in the future.

In the event that the limit values have been exceeded and a health examination shows the health of a member of staff to have been adversely affected from working with and being exposed to artificial optical radiation, a referral for specialist treatment shall be offered.


Frida Fjellström