Exposure Assessment and Control

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May 2018

Extraction Device

Loughborough University Laser Safety Forum 

Monday 21 May 2018


Dr Alan Beswick was asked to speak at the Loughborough University Laser Safety Forum during a presentation relating to recent surgical smoke work that HSE has undertaken in collaboration with the Loughborough University Team and one of their MSc students.


This work relates to the control of surgical smoke fumes emitted by heat generating devised during surgery. These are often used either to cut tissue (typically laser based) or to help stem bleeding by coagulating the blood using heat (diathermy devices).  During these procedures smoke is generated from the tissue at the surgical site and the surgeon-style masks normally worn by staff in operating theatres are not effective at protecting the healthcare worker from the contents of the fume (airborne smoke particles, chemical residues and possibly microorganisms.  


The work we have been doing is looking at extraction devices that fit over hand held surgical lasers, close to the surgical site, to extract the smoke, before the healthcare worked is exposed.  We have also been investigating whether there is any evidence for the survival of contaminating microorganisms, which may be present on the patient's skin or in an infected wound, and might become aerosolised during treatment.  If this does occur, and if the microorganisms can survive this process, then healthcare workers may also be exposed to potentially infectious bioaerosols during surgical procedures.


The picture shows an extraction device designed and manufactured by Jack Edwards at Loughborough University. This device would ultimately be intended for use as part of surgical smoke control and has been provisionally tested at HSL.


Occupational Health 2018 

25 to 27 June 2018

Dr Jon Poole will be speaking at the Occupational Medicine 2018 Trainee Conference on  Tuesday 26 June 2018. Dr Poole will be talking in the HAVS Master Class and the HAVS technical session. HSL’s HAVS technicians, Zoe Gould and Thomas Beanland, will also be attending the conference to provide technical demonstrations of the thermotactile and vibrotactile testing carried out on site. 


For further information on the Tier 5 HAVS service provided by HSL and how to make a referral, please click here

Science Review

HSE Science Review

HSE has published its third Annual Science Review which this year has a focus on our work in the field of energy. Our review provides case studies of the science, engineering work we have delivered and illustrates how HSE uses science and evidence to help Great Britain Work Well. 

The review is introduced by HSE’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research, Professor Andrew Curran. As well as highlighting scientific achievements, awards and publications, it also focuses on the roles of some of our specialist staff. 

Further information on the topics included within the review can be found on the HSL website as follows: Additive Manufacturing (AM), Dust Control, Benzene Exposure, High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID), Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), Woodworking, Pesticides, Bakeries, Disposable RPE, In-Cab Filtration, and Nanotechnologies.

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