Office of Radiation Safety


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Laser Safety Manual Contents

Scope and Applicability

Overview of Safety Requirements for Lasers

Laser Safety Organization at ASU

Laser and Laser System Classification

Registration and Permits

Laser Hazard Control Requirements

Emergency Procedures

Appendix A:
Laser Hazards

Appendix B:
Controlling "Non-Beam" Hazards

Appendix C:
Exposure Limits and Laser Classification

Appendix D:
Laser Control Area Permit

Appendix E:
Medical Surveillance Form

Appendix F:
Eye Injury Wavelengths Diagram

Appendix G:
Example SOP & Safety Checklist

Appendix H:
Procedures for Establaishing Medical Surveillance

Appendix I:
ASU Radiation Safety Committee Laser Policy

CHAPTER II - Laser Safety Organization at ASU

2.1 Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA)

    Arizona State University (ASU) procures and uses Lasers and Laser Systems under regulations of ARRA. The regulations require that ASU personnel use ARRA approved procedures for the control of all lasers. ARRA also requires that Class IIIb and IV lasers be registered with that agency.

    ASU is subject to inspection by ARRA. If ARRA finds that ASU is not in compliance with state regulations, they may issue fines, or in the case of serious infractions, suspend or revoke laser use.

    ARRA Rules and Regulations, and supporting documentation are on file in the Office of Radiation Safety for review by ASU personnel.

2.2 Radiation Safety Committee

    ASU governs the use of lasers through the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). This committee is a group of faculty and staff appointed by the president of ASU to establish policy and regulations for the use of radiation sources and to oversee all aspects of radiation safety. The committee meets at least quarterly to review the university's radiation safety program. See Radiation Safety in Research and Teaching for a list of current ASU ORS policies.

2.3 Laser Safety Officer

The Radiation Safety Officer supported by the staff of the Office of Radiation Safety, functions as the Laser Safety Officer at ASU. Specific responsibilities of the Laser Safety Officer include the following:

    2.3.1 Classification

    The LSO will classify, or verify classifications of lasers and laser systems used at ASU.

    2.3.2 Hazard Evaluation

    The LSO is responsible for hazard evaluation of laser work areas.

    2.3.3 Control Measures

    The LSO is responsible for assuring that the prescribed control measures are in effect, recommending or approving substitute or alternate control measures when the primary ones are not feasible or practical, and periodically auditing the status of those control measures in use.

    2.3.4 Procedure Approvals

    The LSO approves standard operating procedures, alignment procedures, and other procedures that may be part of the requirements for administrative and procedural control measures.

    2.3.5 Protective Equipment

    The LSO recommends or approves protective equipment i.e., eye wear, clothing, barriers, screens, etc., as may be required to assure personnel safety. The LSO assures that protective equipment is audited periodically to ensure proper working order.

    2.3.6 Signs and Labels

    The LSO approves the wording on area signs and equipment labels.

    2.3.7 Facility and Equipment

    The LSO approves laser installation facilities and laser equipment prior to use. This also applies to modification of existing facilities or equipment.

    2.3.8 Authority

    The LSO has the authority to suspend, restrict, or terminate the operation of a laser or laser system if he/she deems that laser hazard controls are inadequate. The actions of the LSO are reviewed by the RSC.

2.4 Registrant

Each Class IIIb or Class IV laser or laser system at ASU must be registered with the Office of Radiation Safety, which in turn registers these devices with ARRA. Each laser or laser system must be registered to a faculty or staff member of ASU who maintains responsibility for all aspects of laser safety for the registered equipment. Specific responsibility of the registrant include:

    2.4.1 Registration

    The registrant must register new equipment with the ORS within 30 days of receipt and prior to operation of new laser equipment.

    2.4.2 Permit Procedures

    The registrant must ensure completion of Laser Control Area Permit is completed for all laser personnel and incidental personnel before authorized entry. See Appendix D. The registrant must ensure personnel with access to the Control area get a baseline eye exam, complete the ORS Laser Safety Training Class, and on site training by a qualified person. (The registrant must keep a record of the onside training as well.)

    The registrant must submit proposed operating and alignment procedures and hazard control measures to the LSO for approval prior to operation of new devices or after modification of existing laser or laser systems.

    2.4.3 Training

    The registrant must ensure that laser personnel including operators of laser equipment and selected incidental personnel are properly trained with respect to safe operation and made aware of laser hazards associated with the laser equipment.See Appendix D.

    2.4.4 Eye Exam

    The registrant must ensure laser personnel and incidental personnel obtain a pre assignment laser eye exam. See Appendix D. Registrants may contact their academic unit safety representative or the ORS office for further information.

    The ANSI Z136.1, 1993 protocol for the pre assignment eye examination for laser personnel includes:

    • Ocular history for previous eye injuries and illness.
    • Visual Acuity test.
    • Grid test (Amsler or equivalent)
    • Color Vision test.

    The ANSI Z136.1 requirement for authorized incidental personnel is only a baseline visual acuity test.

    Laser eye examinations would be required in event of an actual or suspected laser eye injury. An appropriate eye examination would be required in the event an individual transfers out of the laser control area or terminates. Examinations are not required on a periodic basis. Examinations are required when personnel transfer to a non laser control area or terminate from the university.

    Further examinations are at the discretion of the physician/or qualified medical authority.

    2.4.5 Setting Up a Vendor Purchase Order and Scheduling Exams

    This information will assist the academic units in establishing a blanket purchase order with the selected vendor. The phone number for scheduling the exam and the exam location is (480) 517 0047, Southwestern Eye Clinic at 2311 South Rural Road, Tempe. The clinic would need to know the department/academic unit name for billing purposes. Personnel should send or bring a copy of the exam or other proof to ORS for ARRA record keeping purposes.



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