UV Basics





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Safety and Handling

Working with UV equipment, formulations and processes requires a common sense approach to health and safety related issues. Many of the same common sense precautions and procedures that you would follow for other types of formulations or equipment must also be followed. These common sense precautions should be built into your operating procedures and employee training.

Radiation is energy in the electromagnetic spectrum moving from one point to another at speeds approximately that of light. UV equipment produces radiation in the UV, visible and infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Safety and Handling Areas to Assess

Equipment: Train your staff on the proper operation of all equipment in your facility. Pay particular attention to the moving parts to prevent things from getting caught in the equipment. Follow the equipment supplier’s recommendations and establish a preventative maintenance schedule for your equipment. Turn off and lock-out/tag-out the equipment when it needs to be serviced. Repair equipment promptly when it breaks. Consult with the manufacturer before making any changes to the equipment. Only those with the proper training should attempt to maintain, service and repair the equipment.

UV Sources - Eyes: Do not look directly into your UV source without proper eye protection. The source produces both visible and UV energy that could damage your eyes with out proper protection. Post caution signs outside the area where UV is being used and make safety glasses available to anyone that enters this area. Do not remove the safety shielding that the manufacturer has installed on the UV source for you protection. If UV sources are mounted at eye levels or in areas where they may easily be viewed, consider adding additional shielding to protect people in the area.

UV Sources - Skin: Most UV equipment is shielded. Leave this equipment in place and do not remove it. Clothing (long sleeves and pants) and gloves when working around UV can provide additional protection to your skin. Creams and lotions are also available to help protect the skin.

Electricity: Respect Electricity. The applied electrical power to your manufacturing equipment and UV sources can be very high. Before attempting to maintain, service or repair the equipment, be sure to follow procedures to turn off or lock-out/tag-out the equipment. Only those with proper training should attempt to maintain, service and repair the equipment. Be aware and use caution around capacitors. Some types may still hold a charge, even when the applied electrical power to the system is turned off.

Heating and Cooling: UV Systems generate a tremendous amount of infrared energy and parts of the equipment can become extremely hot. Use caution around the equipment and with anything that may have passed (substrates, UV measurement instruments) through the system. Use gloves if needed. Allow time for the system to cool down before working on the equipment. Many systems use air and/or water to maintain the proper temperature for UV generation. Maintain the cooling system components as designed and watch for hot surfaces.

Formulations: Work with your formulator to determine the proper and best way to store, handle and transfer the specific formulations you are using. When handling the formulations, wear the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) required for the formulation. Examples of proper PPE could include gloves, eye/splash guards, coveralls and protective shoes. Separate the areas where you work and handle the formulations from the areas where you eat and drink.

Develop a response plan for your facility in the event of an accidental spill or accident.

Properly dispose of old UV lamps. Many lamp vendors have recycling programs for old lamps. Communicate and coordinate with your suppliers for assistance.

Properly dispose of unused formulations. Uncured formulations may need to be treated as hazardous materials. Communicate and coordinate with your suppliers for assistance.

More information can be found on the RadTech web site or from your individual vendors.