Issues for Consideration by Class IV Laser Buyers

Issues For Consideration By Class IV Laser Buyers

Excerpts from ANSI Z136.1 (2000)

American National Safety Standard For The Safe Use Of Lasers.

(Adopted by OSHA)

ANSI Z136.1.5 – Laser Safety Programs and Employee Training.

ANSI Z136.1.5.1 – General. The management (employer) has the fundamental responsibility for the assurance of the

safe use of lasers owned and/or operated by the employer. The management (employer) shall establish and maintain an adequate program for the control of laser hazards. Employer and/or facility safety programs and employee training

programs shall be required for Class 3B or Class 4 lasers and laser systems. Employer and/or facility safety programs

should be required for Class 2 and Class 3a lasers and laser systems, and for laser systems containing embedded Class 4 lasers. Employer and/or facility safety programs and employee training programs are not required for Class 1 lasers and laser systems that do not contain embedded Class 4 lasers.

ANSI Z136.1.5.2 – Laser Safety Programs. The laser safety program established by the employer shall include

provisions for the following:

(1) Delegation of authority to the LSO for the monitoring and enforcement of hazard evaluation and control of laser hazards. Responsibility without adequate accompanying authority greatly dilutes the effectiveness of the program. Depending on the number of lasers in use, and the complexity of the lasers and their associated use, the position of LSO may or may not be a full-time assignment. Where the number and/or diversity of laser operations warrants, an associated Laser Safety Committee may be formed and utilized. Where there is normally no requirement for an LSO, such as the operation of Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3a lasers and laser systems which contain lasers with a higher classification, the designation of LSO for temporary periods of access for servicing, training, etc. may be the responsibility of the organization requiring access, such as a service organization. However, there shall be a designated LSO for all circumstances of operations of a laser or laser system where there is human access to greater than Class 3a levels of laser radiation.

(2) Education of authorized personnel (LSOs, operators, service personnel and others) in the safe use of lasers and laser systems and, as applicable, the assessment and control of laser hazards. This may be accomplished through training programs. Employers may consider the benefits of initiating awareness training for employees working with or exposed to Class 1 lasers and laser systems.

(3) Application of adequate protective measures for the control of laser hazards as required in Section 4. Incident investigation, including reporting of alleged accidents, and preparation of action plans for the future prevention of accidents following a known or suspected incident.

(4) Provide an adequate medical surveillance program in accordance with Section 6.

ANSI Z136. Medical Surveillance

ANSI Z136. General. …Medical surveillance…shall be required for Class 3a and Class 4 lasers and laser systems.

ANSI Z136. Laser Personnel. Laser personnel are those who work routinely in laser environments. These individuals are ordinarily fully protected by engineering controls or administrative procedures, or both.

ANSI Z136. Laser Personnel shall be subject to the following baseline eye examination:

Ocular history. If the ocular history shows no problems and visual acuity is found to be 20/20 with corrections (whether worn or not), and an Amsler Grid Test and Color Vision responses are normal, no further examination is required.

ANSI Z136. Frequency of Medical Examinations. For both incidental and laser personnel, required examinations shall be performed prior to participation in laser work. Following any suspected laser injury, the pertinent required examination will be repeated, in addition to whatever other examinations may be desired by the attending physician. Periodic examinations are not required.

INTEGATORS and END USERS who add or make modifications to laser systems (workstations) previously certified should be aware that they are then considered the Laser MANUFACTURER and will be responsible for compliance with CDRH registration and pertinent ANSI standards. This also applies to assemblers of laser “kits” that have not been previously certified.