Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

New white board safety advice

light beam
The HSE says people do not always follow safety advice

Schools across England are being urged to buy a new type of whiteboard equipment to eliminate a potential threat to children's eyesight.

Directors of children's services are being told to buy a new generation of "ultra-short-throw" projectors when purchasing or replacing the boards.

These eliminate any eye exposure to the potentially damaging projector beam.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued new advice after a long campaign to address concerns about safety.

The advice says: "Recent technological developments in projector and interactive whiteboard design have allowed inherently safer 'ultra-short throw' devices to be brought to market.

"These employ sophisticated optics to enable the projector to be mounted above the display screen and so close to it that it becomes impossible for a user to directly expose their eyes to the beam."

The HSE adds that - because users sometimes disregard safe work procedures - it considers that employers and organisations should actively consider the new devices as an option.

This new advice is to supplement existing HSE guidelines which say that staring directly into the projector beam is avoided at all times.

Employers should also try to ensure that projectors are located so that they are not in a presenter's line-of-sight when they stand in front of the screen to address an audience.



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