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May 9, 2012
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA and the Laser Institute of America renew Alliance to protect
workers from laser hazards

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today renewed its Alliance with the Laser Institute of America (LIA) to reduce and prevent worker exposure to laser beam and non-beam hazards in industrial, research and medical workplaces. The Alliance will also share information on laser regulations and standards, effects lasers have on the eyes and skin, laser control measures and laser safety program administration.

"Worker exposure to laser beams can result in eye and skin damage, and in more serious cases, blindness and skin cancer," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "This renewed Alliance will help broaden outreach efforts to workers and employers and share critical education and information to reduce preventable injuries."

During the two-year agreement, the Alliance will develop fact sheets with questions that should be asked at facilities that use lasers, and will conduct Laser Safety Seminars for OSHA field staff.

LIA, founded in 1968, is a professional society for laser applications and safety, and it provides technical information and networking opportunities to industrial, medical, research, and government communities worldwide. LIA represents approximately 1,500 members.

OSHA's Safety and Health Topics pages on Laser Hazards, Laser/Electrosurgery Plume, and Radiation provide information on how to recognize and reduce laser hazards, OSHA standards related to lasers and training on laser safety.

Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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