Laser Safety Regulations

AUG 20

Laser Safety Regulations

By cosmick

Want to make sure that your laser safety glasses conform to appropriate regulations?

The Facts About Radiation Safety Regulations

Laser safety glasses have to conform to a strict set of standards to be considered acceptable for use with lasers in America. These regulations are primarily dictated by the American National Standards Institute1, or ANSI.

If you work with a laser, chances are that you need to wear laser safety glasses. If you have a Laser Safety Officer, or LSO, at your location, then you generally should have all the information you need to ensure that you’re conforming to laser safety regulations. If you don’t have an LSO, though, you may be wondering if you’re doing things right.

There are specific rules for many different lasers. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather an overview of the general requirements across all lasers that could harm you.

Here are the American laser safety regulations that are consistent across most laser systems:

  • The laser safety glasses’ optical density must be marked directly on them.
  • Your laser safety glasses’ lenses must be free from any surface defects or defects in material that could impair your vision. In other words, if you scratch your glasses, you need to replace them.
  • Your laser safety eyewear should have a field of view which accommodates the work you’re doing with the laser.
  • Every part of your laser safety eyewear, including lasers, side shields, and frame, must meet or exceed the optical density (OD) specifications marked on your glasses.
  • Your laser safety glasses or goggles need to at least meet the ANSI Z80.3-2000 requirement for strength and impact resistance, which is the same requirement that prescription glasses have. This requirement is very minimal and generally exceeded by laser eyewear.
  • Most laser applications require a 20% luminous transmittance. This is a common, though not universal, requirement. Luminous transmittance is not an easily defined term as it has to do with your lighting in addition to transmission of light through your lens and the dilation of your eyes. Generally, a VLT of 20% is acceptable.
  • Your laser safety glasses’ components can’t be interchangeable so that they can be reconfigured in a way that changes their protection levels.

These laser safety regulations are not universal, but they are common to most laser applications and worth following. If you need more specific laser safety regulations for your laser application, it’s a good idea to look into obtaining a copy of the ANSI Z136 regulation that is relevant to your laser system.

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Laser Safety Regulations

This entry was posted on August 20, 2013 by Kieran Hunt.

Want to make sure that your laser safety glasses conform to appropriate regulations?

The Facts About Radiation Safety Regulations

Laser safety glasses have to conform to a strict set of standards to be considered acceptable for use with lasers in America. These regulations are primarily dictated by the American National Standards Institute1, or ANSI.

If you work with a laser, chances are that you need to wear laser safety glasses. If you have a Laser Safety Officer, or LSO, at your location, then you generally should have all the information you need to ensure that you’re conforming to laser safety regulations. If you don’t have an LSO, though, you may be wondering if you’re doing things right.

There are specific rules for many different lasers. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather an overview of the general requirements across all lasers that could harm you.

Here are the American laser safety regulations that are consistent across most laser systems:

  • The laser safety glasses’ optical density must be marked directly on them.
  • Your laser safety glasses’ lenses must be free from any surface defects or defects in material that could impair your vision. In other words, if you scratch your glasses, you need to replace them.
  • Your laser safety eyewear should have a field of view which accommodates the work you’re doing with the laser.
  • Every part of your laser safety eyewear, including lasers, side shields, and frame, must meet or exceed the optical density (OD) specifications marked on your glasses.
  • Your laser safety glasses or goggles need to at least meet the ANSI Z80.3-2000 requirement for strength and impact resistance, which is the same requirement that prescription glasses have. This requirement is very minimal and generally exceeded by laser eyewear.
  • Most laser applications require a 20% luminous transmittance. This is a common, though not universal, requirement. Luminous transmittance is not an easily defined term as it has to do with your lighting in addition to transmission of light through your lens and the dilation of your eyes. Generally, a VLT of 20% is acceptable.
  • Your laser safety glasses’ components can’t be interchangeable so that they can be reconfigured in a way that changes their protection levels.

These laser safety regulations are not universal, but they are common to most laser applications and worth following. If you need more specific laser safety regulations for your laser application, it’s a good idea to look into obtaining a copy of the ANSI Z136 regulation that is relevant to your laser system.

If you have any questions about laser safety regulations or what’s right for your laser system, you can give our customer service line a call or leave a comment below! Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

American National Standards Institute

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