Laser Hazards

Standards

Laser hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to laser hazards.

OSHA Standards
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
Related Information

1910 Subpart I - Personal Protective Equipment

1910.132, General requirements.

Related Information

1910.133, Eye and face protection.

Related Information
Construction

For information related to the construction, see the Laser Hazards – Construction page.

State Standards

There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

Additional Directives

Note: The directives in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.

Additional Letters of Interpretation

Note: The letters in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.


National Consensus Standards

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

The Z136 series of laser safety standards are voluntary consensus standards that have been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the secretariat to the committee that produces the Z136 standards, as well as publisher of the series.

  • Z136.1, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers
  • Z136.2, American National Standard for Safe Use of Optical Fiber Communication Systems Utilizing Laser Diode and LED Sources
  • Z136.3, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care
  • Z136.4, American National Standard Recommended Practice for Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation
  • Z136.5, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions
  • Z136.6, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors
  • Z136.7, American National Standard for Testing and Labeling of Laser Protective Equipment
  • Z136.8, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Research, Development, or Testing
  • Z136.9, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Manufacturing Environments

ANSI B11.21. Safety Requirements for Machine Tools Using Lasers for Processing Materials. This standard applies to machine tools using a laser for processing materials and its associated equipment It describes the hazards generated by such machines and states the protective measures to be incorporated into such machines The standard also contains requirements for the information provided with such machines

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

FDA/The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is a regulatory bureau within the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDRH has been chartered by Congress to standardize the performance safety of manufactured laser products. All laser products that have been manufactured and entered into commerce, after August 2, 1976, must comply with these regulations. These regulations, 21 CFR Part 1040, are also known as the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard (FLPPS). Specific guidance for FLPPS implementation is covered in ANSI/LIA Z136.1.

See 21 CFR Part 1040 Performance standards for light-emitting products

1040.10 Laser products
1040.11 Specific purpose laser products

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 115: Standard for Laser Fire Protection. This standard provides minimum fire protection requirements for the design, manufacture, installation and use of lasers and associated equipment. It also contains criteria for training and responding to fire emergencies involving lasers. Chapters cover classification of lasers, evaluation of laserbeam ignition potential, laser beam ignition, fire safety requirements for laser equipment, flammable gases, reactive gases, ignitable liquids used in laser systems, operations and administration, and emergency preparedness.

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

This is a global organization that publishes consensus-based International Standards and manages conformity assessment systems for electric and electronic products, systems and services, collectively known as electrotechnology.

  • IEC 60601-2-22: Medical electrical equipment - Part 2-22: Particular requirements for basic safety and essential performance of surgical, cosmetic, therapeutic and diagnostic laser equipment.
  • IEC 60825-1: Safety of laser products - Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements. Applicable to the safety of laser products emitting laser radiation in the wavelength range 180nm to 1mm.
  • IEC 60825-2: Safety of laser products - Part 2: Safety of optical fiber communication systems (OFCS). Provides requirements and specific guidance for the safe operation and maintenance of optical fiber communications systems (OFCS).
  • IEC TR 60825-3: Safety of laser products - Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows. Technical report that gives guidance on the planning and design, set-up and conduct of laser displays and shows that make use of high power lasers.
  • IEC 60825-4: Safety of laser products - Part 4: Laser guards. Specifies the requirements for laser guards, permanent and temporary (for example for service), that enclose the process zone of a laser processing machine, and specifications for proprietary laser guards.
  • IEC 60825-5: Safety of laser products - Part 5: Manufacturer's checklist for IEC 60825-1.
  • IEC TR 60825-8: Safety of laser products - Part 8: Guidelines for the safe use of laser beams on humans. This serves as a guide to the employer, the responsible organization, the laser safety officer, the laser operator and other persons involved, on the safe use of lasers and laser equipment classified as class 3B or class 4. This technical report explains control measures recommended for the safety of patients, staff, maintenance personnel and others.
  • IEC 60825-12: Safety of laser products - Part 12: Safety of free space optical communication systems used for transmission of information. Provides requirements and specific guidance for the manufacture and safe use of laser products and systems used for point-to-point or point-to-multipoint free space optical data transmission.
  • IEC TR 60825-13: Safety of laser products - Part 13; Measurements for classification of laser products. Provides manufacturers, test houses, safety personnel, and others with practical guidance on methods to perform radiometric measurements or analyses to establish the emission level of laser energy in accordance with IEC 60825-1: 2007.
  • IEC TR 60825-14: Safety of laser products - Part 14: A user's guide. This technical report provides guidance on best practice in the safe use of laser products that conform to IEC 60825-1.
  • IEC TR 60825-17: Safety of laser products - Part 17: Safety aspects for use of passive optical components and optical cables in high power optical fiber communication systems. Recommends safety measures to protect against effects caused exclusively by thermal, opto-mechanical and related effects in passive optical components and optical cables used in highpower optical fiber communication systems.

International Standards Organization (ISO)

  • ISO 11553-1: Safety of machinery - Laser processing machines - Part 1: General safety requirements. Describes hazards generated by laser processing machines, and specifies the safety requirements relating to radiation hazards and hazards generated by materials and substances. It also specifies the information to be supplied by the manufacturers of such equipment.
  • ISO 11553-2: Safety of machinery - Laser processing machines - Part 2: Safety requirements for hand-held laser processing devices. Purpose of this standard is to draw attention to the particular hazards related to the use of hand-held laser and hand-operated laser processing devices and to prevent personal injury.
  • ISO 11553-2: Safety of machinery - Laser processing machines - Part 2: Safety requirements for hand-held laser processing devices. Purpose of this standard is to draw attention to the particular hazards related to the use of hand-held laser and hand-operated laser processing devices and to prevent personal injury.