Laser ablation techniques are increasingly used for material surface treatment. A range of technical applications are currently under development. The potential hazards which these processes pose for employees and the environment are not known at this stage. The objective of the project was to integrate consideration for occupational and environmental health and safety aspects into the development processes. A catalogue of measures - "laser ablation, hazardous substances and radiation emissions" - was to be generated, containing information of relevance to safety, for example in the form of safety data sheets for processes and materials. This information is to enable users of laser ablation processes to identify occupational and environmental health and safety problems associated with them, and to take suitable protective measures.
The measured emission data were to be used to define indicators, which in turn were to form the basis for exposure measurements at relevant workplaces. An occupational hygiene and an occupational health assessment, to permit assessment of the health risks, were to follow. Together with the results of emission propagation and radiation emission measurements, protective measures were to be drawn up for operators. Detection equipment for particle and gaseous emissions and for waste gas purification required adaptation.
Initial results suggest that no significant hazards are posed by exposure to hazardous substances or radiation, during normal operating conditions and where the safety measures are observed, in any of the plants/processes studied. This does not apply to setup mode, in which safety facilities are frequently bypassed. Great care must be taken in this case, as both radiation exposure and significant exposure to hazardous substances are possible. In particular, personal protective measures must be taken.
-cross sectoral-Type of hazard:
Arbeitsumwelt (Belastungen, Gefährdungen, Expositionen, Risiken), Gefährdungsbeurteilung, MaschinensicherheitDescription, key words:
laser, laser ablation, cleaning, hazardous substances, catalogue of measures, emission of radiation, occupational safety, environmental protection