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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 III - Laser and Laser System Classification

    3.1 Laser Classification
      Lasers and laser systems are classified by their ability to cause biological damage to the eye or skin during use. Purchased lasers are labeled and classed by manufacturers to comply with requirements of the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard. Lasers which are modified in ways which may change the classification provided by the manufacturer must be reclassified by the Laser Safety Officer in accordance with ANSI Standard Z-136.1-1993, "American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers."

        3.1.1 Class I Lasers

        Lasers or laser systems incapable of producing damaging radiation during intended use are Class I lasers. These lasers are exempt from any controls or administrative requirements during normal use. Most Class I laser systems contain embedded lasers of a higher class, however. Alignment and service procedures for embedded Class II, III, or IV lasers require appropriate control and administrative procedures appropriate to the class during these functions.

        3.1.2 Class II Lasers

        Class II lasers (low power) are lasers emitting radiation in the visible portion of the spectrum. Even though the power of these lasers is such that they will normally be protected by a physiological aversion response (blink reflex), personnel should wear laser eyewear for protection. The class II maximum permissible exposure limits can be exceeded if the beam is viewed directly for extended periods.

        3.1.3 Class III Lasers

        Class III lasers and laser systems (medium power) produce radiation that can cause eye damage when viewed directly, or when a specular reflection is viewed. A diffuse reflection is usually not a hazard.

        3.1.4 Class IV Lasers

        Class IV lasers and laser systems (high power) produce radiation that may be dangerous to the eye even when viewing a diffuse reflection. The direct beam can produce skin damage and can also be a fire hazard.

    3.2 Embedded Lasers
      Many laser systems contain embedded lasers which are more hazardous (of higher class) than the system. Alignment or service procedures for embedded lasers must be conducted in accordance with requirements appropriate for the class of the embedded laser.

    3.3 Classification by the Laser Safety Officer (LSO)

      Lasers or laser systems that are modified in ways that may alter the hazard of the emitted radiation must be reclassified by the LSO in accordance with ANSI Z-136.1-1993. The reclassification will usually be from a lower to a higher class. Although modifications of laser systems which provide additional safety features may result in a lower classification.

    3.4 Multiwavelength Lasers

      Laser classification will be based on the most hazardous possible configuration for a multiwavelength laser or laser system.


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