The British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) has announced speakers for its Annual Conference and Educational Courses taking place on May 8-10 at the Park Inn by Raddison, Heathrow.
Dr Vishal Madan reflects on his career in dermatology and shares advice on how to make the most of an aesthetic practice.
REGULATION OF ESTABLISHMENTS USING CLASS 3B & 4 LASERS AND INTENSE PULSED LIGHT SYSTEMS: Ensuring good practice
Good practice will be achieved if establishments operating lasers/intense pulsed lights (IPLs) are required to provide evidence for the following key areas:
1.0 Safe Environment
2.0 Safe Equipment
3.0 Suitably Trained Operators
4.0 Appropriate Treatment Application
The requirements for delivering good practice within these four areas are outlined below.
We all want to ensure that we are delivering the best quality, safe care. Treatments performed with lasers and light sources have some inherent risks. In the UK, legislation and standards exist to help protect us, and our patients, from these risks. Nobody would want to find themselves operating outside of these standards, especially if it resulted in unnecessary harm.
Sometimes it is difficult to know which standards apply to us in the NHS or private healthcare setting. Well, now there is no excuse! The following article, penned by BMLA members and world renowned experts Dr Godfrey Town and Dr Elizabeth Raymond Brown, is an easy to read and thorough overview of the current laser standards applicable in the UK.
Select the image below to open the full article.
International standards for lasers and intense light sources used in medicine and aesthetics are written by the IEC and incorporated in Europe by the CEN or CENELEC and in Britain by the BSI. These standards are designed to ensure that manufacturers create (and companies sell) electrical products that are safe to use. Standards are supplemented by ‘technical reports’ which provide guidance for use of such products. Technical reports may be written directly for the consumer. Non-electrical products (for example laser or IPL safety goggles) are covered by the ISO. These product standards are where we find things such as laser classes (e.g. Class 3b and 4 lasers), details of laser and IPL eyewear markings, Maximum Permissible Exposures and tolerances on laser and IPL energy outputs. So what if a product doesn’t meet the standard? Whilst product standards do not inherently have a legal standing, the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 states that “In carrying out the assessment, measurement or calculation, the employer must follow the following standards or recommendations— (a) for laser radiation, the standards of the IEC; or (b) for non-coherent radiation, the standards of the IEC and the recommendations of the CIE and the CEN.” Thus, standards MUST be considered in your risk assessments. For manufacturers, the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 requires equipment suppliers to “design, manufacture and supply articles for use at work that are safe, so far as is reasonably practicable, in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances of use”. Not keeping to the standards could be seen as not fulfilling this requirement. There are also a number of organisations in the UK (including the BMLA) which publish recommendations to help the continual improvement of safe practice. For the benefit of our members and towards the improvement in safe use of lasers and light based equipment in medicine and aesthetics, the BMLA will be publishing a series of posts on standards and guidelines here on our website. Check again soon for the next installment!