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Simplified risk assessment of incoherent high-power spotlights

Subproject I: Evaluation criteria for the risk assessment of high-power spotlights,
Subproject II: High-Power Spotlights Risk Assessment (HiPoSisAs) - Photochemical and Thermal Retinal Hazards at Workplaces (PEROSH project)

Project number: F 2483 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2022-09-30


The rapid development in the field of semiconductors is accompanied by more and more powerful, energy-efficient, and less expensive incoherent optical radiation sources, for example, LED spotlights (incoherent radiation = broadband radiation; no laser). Likewise, modern gas discharge lamps, their gas being excited to illuminate by electrical voltage, with very high radiances can also be purchased inexpensively. Several lamp parameters (wavelength distributions, source sizes, etc.) as well as technically feasible optical powers have increased enormously in the last decade. This trend of "brighter is better" is accompanied by a heightened risk for eye damages.

Such incoherent high-power spotlights are used, for example, at events or in television studios where some or even many of them are operated simultaneously. In addition, illuminating special working areas at construction sites (structural and civil engineering) or in industry with powerful LED arrays is getting more and more popular due to their inexpensive operation. However, the necessary safety distances can often not be met so that possible hazards to workers cannot be excluded completely.

Usually, UV radiation from these sources is uncritical due to built-in filters, but the assessment of retinal hazards caused by visible and infrared radiation is highly significant. The German Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance on Artificial Optical Radiation (OStrV) lists exposure limit values and demands a competently performed risk assessment. The diversity of possible exposure scenarios complicates the required measurements. Additionally, up to now, no consistent recommendations exist for the assessment of working conditions at workplaces exposed to high-power spotlights.

The laboratory examination of diverse sources and exposure scenarios aims at the determination of such assessment criteria that will be evaluated subsequently and unified by a concurrent PEROSH project. Finally, by means of a simple tool, the results will be transferred into practice.


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