Loughborough University
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Problems of information structures obscuring laser hazard perception

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posted on 2013-07-30, 13:45 authored by Paul Ducker
This work has identified that the hazard of optical radiation still dominates laser safety standards and training. This overlooks other sigoificant hazards, which should be identified by the risk assessment, so that safety controls can be used in connection with lasers. Laser safety standards and training information structures are obscuring laser hazard perception rather than identifying and addressing hazards with known solutions. The literature search revealed that the hazards and solutions are known but not easily accessible in written or electronic formats. Surveys showed that despite improved communications and computer systems the knowledge was still not readily available to the users oflasers. The problem is how this information can be delivered to the general public and industries. This would enable the knowledge of solutions to improve the controls and procedures to be applied as good desigo, installation, use and maintenance and so reduce the number of people being injured. The information is available but is difficult to find, as search systems do not return solutions only details of goggles. A CD of information was produced and trialled. However it confirmed that the electronic format did improve the speed of search but the CD is fixed in time and range of applications. Far wider ranges of solutions are available on the World Wide Web, but finding the specific reference is difficult due to the structure of the Internet. My hypothesis remains, that a structured search system using the Internet will make the relevant information available to a greater number of people than the present standards. Improving access requires the location of information of web pages to be searched more effectively. Coding and listings are part of the solution but the semantic links of the search terms is the key to finding the specific relevant information. A search system using an ontology structure, which allows the sense of the word rather than just its definition to be searched for in the text of a web page, was developed. The application of ontology structure search for laser safety is the sigoificant step of this research. This produced superior results for solutions to laser beam and non-beam hazards, in a quarter of the time taken with reference books.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Paul Ducker

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en