LPA support for hospitals using lasers

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If you are using, or plan to use, a laser in your hospital you must protect yourself, your staff and your patients...

You must have:

  • An Optical and Laser Radiation Safety Policy (OLRSP)
  • Risk Assessments
  • A Laser Protection Adviser (LPA)
  • Local Rules
  • Core of Knowledge Training
  • Compliance

We'll organise all of this for you, ensuring you are protected from the HSE's Mandatory Improvement Notices, and ensuring you comply with the requirements of the:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010
  • And more...

Hospital Laser Protection Adviser

Responsibility

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all hospitals using lasers must have health and safety arrangements in place to ensure the safe use of optical radiation and lasers. This takes the form of an Optical and Laser Radiation Safety policy - OLRSP. It applies to all devices that emit optical radiation, including lasers, and to all of the hospitals workplaces and to everyone who is, or may be, affected by the hospital's use of optical radiation and lasers.

Risk Assessment

It is also the duty of the employer, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to ensure that risks, including those due to optical radiation and lasers, are properly risk-assessed and controlled to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees and others.

Protection

The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 requires that all employers protect the eyes and skin of all workers from exposure to harmful optical radiation, and the European Artificial Optical Radiation Directive is used to define the statutory exposure limits. Guidance on the safe use of lasers, including exposure limits, is taken from the British Standards and from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency - the MHRA (formerly known as the Medical Devices Agency - the MDA). Guidance on the safe use of other optical radiation is derived from the Health Protection Agency - HPA, and the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection - ICNIRP.

Mandatory Improvement Notice

The treatment of patients by using lasers is taken very seriously and there are many areas of concern that must be addressed and complied with in order to avoid a Mandatory Improvement Notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive - the HSE.

The Lasermet Solution

For all of the above requirements Lasermet can provide the easy solution.

As Laser Protection Adviser to your hospital, we will undertake a full site audit and will provide:-

  • The Optical and Laser Radiation Safety policy
  • Initial Site Audit Paperwork
  • Risk Assessments
  • Local Rules
  • An Action List including additional control measures
  • An Annual Audit
  • On-going Support throughout the year

Site Assessment

We will attend site and talk to the Theatre Manager, any Laser Protection Supervisors and other relevant personnel to discover what measures are currently in place. We also carry out a full inspection of all your lasers, laser treatment areas and existing documentation, and provide a full written site assessment. This gives a detailed record of our findings including any areas of deficiency and recommendations for actions with explanatory notes.

Optical and Laser Radiation Safety Policy

We will review and amend / update any existing policy or in the absence of an existing one provide a completely new policy detailing how the Hospital and / or NHS Trust will deal with hazards arising from Lasers and other Optical sources.

Risk Assessments and Action Lists

Based on the findings of our site assessment we will produce full risk assessments for each laser and treatment area detailing the hazards, the people at risk and the control measures which are used to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Where risks are not currently reduced enough we supply a full action list detailing actions which the Theatre Manager / LPS must ensure are carried out.

Local Rules

Local rules will be supplied for each laser. These are your written Safe Systems of Work, which all employees connected with the laser are required to read and follow. Among other things these will detail the exact eyewear required, sequence of operation and emergency procedures.

Ongoing Support and Annual Audit

Your LPA will be available throughout the year to provide telephone and email support where queries arise or additional equipment is acquired. Since Lasermet have a team of Laser Protection Advisers there should always be someone on hand to give professional advice. We will visit at least once a year to carry out an annual audit including reviewing / updating all Risk Assessments, Local Rules and Policies.

Core of Knowledge Training

It is usual for there to be staff who are required to receive 'Core of Knowledge' laser safety training. We are able to provide both 'in house' and 'open' Core of Knowledge courses as required.

Action to take

Contact Lasermet by phone or email to discuss your requirements or to ask further questions.