UV Light Exposure in Air-Handling Unit

Category: Injury/Illness


A Facilities staff member responded to a service request requiring work in an air-handling unit (AHU) equipped with UV lights. The UV lights were part of a pilot project to evaluate their performance and ability to prevent fungal growth on cooling coils. This was the only AHU on campus currently equipped with this type of device. The staff member entered the AHU where he worked for four hours. During this time he was located approximately 1-foot away from the UV lights. That night he experienced a painful sensation on his eyes and skin. He went to the hospital the next morning and was diagnosed with UV burns on his eyes and skin. The incident resulted in 6 days of lost time. (The picture to the right shows the access panel removed to provide entry into the AHU.)

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