Safety Design/ Control/ Maintenance
UV-C exposure can be reduced through product safety design considerations and controls. For example, safety switches wired in series allow UV-C sources to be turned off without exposing workers to UV light. Or placing ON/OFF switches for UV-C light sources separate from general room lighting in locations only accessible by authorized persons. Switch locations should be locked or password protected to ensure that the UV-C source is not accidentally turned on. Each system have the option of a viewport so workers can view the lamp assembly without the possibility of over-exposure to UV-C.
Proper installation, monitoring, education of maintenance personnel, signage and use of safety switches can help to avoid overexposure. The operating instructions and recommendations for proper use of any UV system should be kept for reference to reduce hazardous exposure. These should be clearly visible for the operators or maintenance personnel and include the temperature and relative humidity ranges specified by the system design to ensure safe operation. Maintenance should be performed according to manufacturer’s instructions electric power should always be turned off to prevent accidental exposure.
Response to UV Exposure
The effects of acute exposure to UV radiation are usually not severe and many symptoms are delayed. In the event of UV exposure, the following actions are recommended.
- See an ophthalmologist if eye damage is suspected.
- Treat skin lesions immediately.
- Follow your organization’s EHS incident reporting procedure. These often require documentation of the date and time of the incident, persons involved, equipment involved, and type of injury.