Mark of the Imposter?
Just because your laser is CE marked, doesn’t mean it’s safety compliant.
That cheap laser you’ve seen on eBay could cost you and your organisation a lot more than you bargained for. Of course, nobody buys something as potentially dangerous as a laser without some reassurance of safety. The trouble is many people believe that the CE mark is reassurance enough. It isn’t.
The symbol CE is an abbreviation of the French phrase, “Conformité Européene”, which literally means “European Conformity”. CE marking on a product is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. It also means that the product can be legally placed on the market and ensures the free movement of the product within EFTA and the European Union.
Declaration of Conformity
The CE certification can only be completed within the boundary of the EU. A manufacturer outside the EU can build and test to these standards but the product would not be certified. The only person that could certify that product is the importer or the manufacturer’s representative within the EU. They would issue the Declaration of Conformity on the basis of being provided with the relevant test documentation.
Worth the Risk?
Because your laser carries the CE mark does not mean it’s been independently tested or is compliant or made to a specific safety standard. In fact, the manufacturer is not the only one with a right to mark the product. Its representative can do so as well! To be truly compliant, the laser needs to be tested to EN60825-4 and have a Technical Construction File to prove it.
In terms of safety, using a laser without the EN60825-4 classification could be dangerous and, if an accident happens as a result, chances are you will not be insured. With budgets under pressure, schools in particular have been tempted by the cheap options on offer on the internet. TLM has visited some of these establishments and seen a range of worrying safety breaches including lasers that have been supplied with no extracting facility. A classic example of a so-called CE approved laser seen by TLM in one school was a DC fired CO2 tube laser with a cooling system that consisted of a length of rubber hose and a fish tank pump!!
Technical Construction File
With the technological advances in recent years, it can be easy to forget the dangers of lasers and the necessary safeguards that need to be taken with their use. However, these same technological advances have also meant that the cost of lasers has come down considerably. So for the sake of a few pounds is a cheap laser worth the risk? As professional laser consultants, TLM Laser ensure that every single laser product we supply carries a legitimate Technical Construction File. For details and further information please contact sales@TLM-laser.com