Chapter 16
LASER SAFETY

Contents

Approved by Greta Toncheva
Revised 1/13

16.1 Policy

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Laser Safety Program is designed to prevent staff exposure to laser radiation in excess of the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limit for the human eye or skin, and to ensure a safe working environment for laser-related research by effectively mitigating laser-related hazards.

16.2 Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to Berkeley Lab employees, participating affiliates, visitors, and subcontractors who:

16.3 Roles and Responsibilities for Implementing the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Program

Role

Responsibilities

Division Director

Ensures the Laser Safety Program is enforced

Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) Division Health Services Group

  • Arranges or performs laser eye examinations
  • Advises laser users and the Laser Safety Officer (LSO) of any ocular abnormalities that could be attributed to laser exposure, or that could be relevant to laser use
  • Arranges laser eye examinations when an injury is suspected

EH&S Division Professionals

Provide guidance in laser handling and establish controls for laser hazards. Areas of oversight include:

  • Laser dyes and other toxic chemicals
  • Ventilation requirements for laser targets and toxic materials
  • Hazardous gases
  • Electrical hazards
  • Seismic hazards

Supervisor/
Work Lead

 

 

  • Ensures that all laser users receive adequate and appropriate laser-safety training
  • Ensures that all laser users have taken the Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) at least annually and whenever the scope of work changes, and have correctly answered questions relating to laser use
  • Ensures that all personnel complete laser-safety courses EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training) (or equivalent) and on-the-job training (OJT) prior to unsupervised laser use. (Visitors and new staff with incomplete training may work only under the direct line-of-sight supervision of an authorized laser user Develops, provides, and documents OJT for personnel in all procedures and techniques required for the safe use of specific lasers and optical systems in their laboratories
  • Ensures that all personnel report to Health Services for laser eye examinations (EHS0288), as outlined in the medical surveillance section of this chapter
  • Prepares an Activity Hazard Document (AHD) for a laser operation and ensures that the provisions of the AHD are properly implemented and diligently followed by the laser users. (To complete an AHD, go to the AHD link on the Berkeley Lab A–Z listing.)
  • Ensures that access door interlock devices  are functioning properly. (Note: Documented verification of interlocks is required every six months.)
  • Ensures that any visitor receives a site/experimental hazard orientation as part of any laser-use area tour when lasers are in use
  • Ensures that personnel are allowed to work only on tasks for which their formal laser-safety training and OJT have been completed and documented
  • Ensures the LSO is notified of proposed laser acquisitions
  • Ensures the LSO is notified of changes to the laser-control area configuration that impact safety
  • Ensures the LSO is notified of changes in laser use or laboratory conditions that impact safety
  • Ensures the laser inventory is accurate in both the laser inventory system and on the AHD. (Refer to PUB-3000 Chapter 32, Job Hazards Analysis, for additional information.)

Laser Safety Officer (LSO)

 

Set forth in ANSI Z136.1 laser-safety standard:

“An individual shall be designated the LSO with the authority and responsibility to monitor and enforce the control of laser hazards and to effect the knowledgeable evaluation and control of laser hazards. The LSO either performs the stated tasks or ensures that the task is performed.”

 

  • Monitors and enforces the control of laser hazards
  • Suspends, restricts, or terminates the operation of a laser or laser system if laser hazard controls are deemed inadequate
  • Maintains the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Program
  • Evaluates laser hazards (including non-beam hazards), approves mitigation plans, and provides technical advice for safe laser operations
  • Reviews and signs off on all AHDs that reference laser hazards
  • Develops and reviews substitute or alternate control measures for those listed in ANSI Z136.1 when the primary ones are infeasible or impractical
  • Performs and documents, at least annually, a laser-safety audit of each Class 3B or Class 4 laser AHD while the laser is operational, if possible. The audit will be documented using the Laser Operations Audit Form or a similar process.
  • Performs and documents observational visits to laser-use areas
  • Upon request, calculates and verifies nominal hazard zones
  • Provides calculations of laser eye-hazard parameters (maximum permissible exposure [MPE] and optical density) that will ensure eye protection. Advises laser users and supervisors on appropriate eye protection (full protection or alignment eyewear). This includes frame styles and prescription options.
  • Ensures laser-safety training is provided for Class 3B and Class 4 laser users through lecture, Web-based, or other techniques
  • Works with Health Services to develop and maintain the Medical Surveillance Program
  • Ensures the appropriateness of OJT
  • Investigates all instances of suspected laser eye exposure
  • Participates in investigations of beam- as well as non-beam-related accidents in Berkeley Lab laser facilities
  • Performs additional duties as required or referenced in ANSI Z136.1
  • Resolves conflicts between ANSI Z136.1 and regulations in other standards or guidance documents regarding lasers
  • Monitors the Laser Inventory System
  • Provides technical reviews of the Laser Safety Web site
  • Assists in developing Temporary Control Areas/Temporary Work Authorizations

Laser Users

  • Attend appropriate training (such as EHS 302) before operating any laser/laser system unsupervised
  • Receive appropriate OJT prior to unsupervised laser use
  • Must read, understand, sign, and follow all procedures in the AHD
    • Note that laser users who are visitors or repair staff (in-house or vendor) are not required to sign the AHD; however, they must read, understand, and follow the controls as defined by the AHD.
  • Are responsible for stopping unsafe work activities (see PUB-3000, Chapter 1, Work Process C, Stopping Unsafe Work)
  • Receive medical surveillance, where applicable (EHS0288).
  • Work in a safe manner following Laboratory policy and procedural requirements
  • Promptly report any malfunctions, problems, accidents, or injuries that may have an impact on safety
  • Immediately report any suspected laser eye exposures to the laser supervisor, Health Services, and the LSO
  • Refer any questions or concerns to the LSO or the Laser Safety Committee (LSC)
  • Complete retraining when applicable

Laser Safety Committee (LSO, EH&S personnel, experienced laser users from Berkeley Lab)

  • Recommends the establishment or modifications of Berkeley Lab laser-safety policies
  • Reviews laser-related accidents, if requested by the Safety Advisory Committee (SAC) or LSO
  • Reviews and approves protocols and interpretations made by the LSO
  • Reviews cases that involve repeated infractions of laser-safety rules, and recommends actions
  • Meets on a regular basis (quarterly at a minimum)
  • Reviews appeals and concerns from laser users (e.g., issues that may be in conflict with LSO determinations) and makes recommendations for their resolution

Purchasing

Notifies the LSO of all laser purchases and laser-related service requests

The ANSI Z136.1 standard (Safe Use of Lasers) recognizes that its classification and control scheme relates specifically to the laser product and its potential hazards, based on laser-operating characteristics.

Important considerations for determining the full extent of safety control measures include:

The Z136.1 standard assigns major responsibility for such judgments to the person with the requisite authority and responsibility, the LSO.

16.4 Definitions

Laser Class

Definition

1

  • Considered incapable of producing damaging radiation levels during operation
  • Exempt from any control measures or other forms of surveillance

1M

  • Considered incapable of producing hazardous exposure conditions during normal operations unless the beam is viewed with an optical instrument such as an eye-loupe (diverging beam) or telescope (collimated beam)
  • Exempt from any control measures other than to prevent potentially hazardous optically aided viewing

2

  • Emits in the visible portion of the spectrum (0.4 – 0.7 um)
  • Eye protection is normally afforded by the aversion response.

2M

  • Emits in the visible portion of the spectrum (0.4 – 0.7 um)
  • Eye protection is normally afforded by the aversion response for unaided viewing.
  • Potentially hazardous if viewed with certain optical aids

3 (medium-powered)

May be hazardous under direct and specular reflection viewing conditions but is normally not a diffuse reflection or fire hazard

3R

  • Potentially hazardous under some direct and specular reflection viewing conditions if the eye is appropriately focused and stable, but the probability of an actual injury is small.
  • Will not pose either a fire hazard or diffuse reflection hazard

3B

May be hazardous under direct and specular reflection viewing conditions but is normally not a diffuse reflection or fire hazard

4 (high-powered)

  • Poses a hazard to eye or skin from the direct beam
  • May pose a diffuse reflection or fire hazard
  • May produce laser-generated air contaminants (LGAC) and hazardous plasma radiation

16.5 Required Work Processes

Work Process A. Laser Safety Process and Laser Safety Flowchart

Work Process B. General Laser Requirements

Work Process C. Procurement Requirements

Work Process D. Medical Exam Requirements

Work Process E. Training Requirements

Work Process F. Class 1-3A Lasers

Work Process G. Class 3B- 4 Lasers

Work Process H. Special Topics

  1. Laser Use Requirements for Berkeley Lab Off-Site Staff
  2. Berkeley Lab Employees Working on the UC Berkeley Campus
  3. Suspected Laser Injury

Work Process I. Berkeley Lab Response to a Laser Injury

Work Process A. Laser Safety Process and Laser Safety Flowchart

 

Work Process B. General Laser Requirements

1.   Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Program Objectives

Laser Safety Program Objectives

  • Prevent staff exposure to unsafe laser radiation
  • Ensure a safe working environment for laser-related research
  • Ensure, per Berkeley Lab’s policy on laser safety, that all lasers and laser systems are operated in a manner that complies with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1-2000, Standard for Safe Use of Lasers.
  • Ensure that adequate protection against the following collateral hazards risks is addressed:
    • Electrical shock
    • Fire hazard from a beam or from use of dyes and solvents
    • Chemical exposures from use of chemicals and vaporization of targets

In order to implement the policy and give the researchers flexibility in choosing controls, all laser operations at Berkeley Lab must be reviewed and approved by the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Officer (LSO). The hierarchy of controls to be used are:

Laser Safety Protocols and Interpretations

The LSO develops and issues laser protocols. Examples of protocols are: 

Protocols are interpretations of ANSI Z136.1 requirements. Protocols will be reviewed and approved by the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Committee to ensure they provide equivalent protection and fit into Berkeley Lab’s research environment and needs. As appropriate, they will be forwarded to the Berkeley Lab Safety Advisory Committee (SAC) for institutional review and approval. Prior to being implemented, protocols are reviewed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Berkeley Site Office (BSO). Protocols are posted on the Laser Safety Web page.

Protocols shall:

2.   Laser Protective Eyewear

The energy emitted from a laser or the reflection of a laser beam can present a highly concentrated energy source, sufficient to cause permanent eye injury. Although engineering controls are preferred to mitigate this hazard, it may be necessary or prudent to use laser protective eyewear.

Information for obtaining laser protective eyewear can be found on the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Web page.

Laser Protective Eyewear

  • Eyewear must be matched to the wavelength(s) emitted and for the laser intensity. Laser protective eyewear must be marked with the optical density of the lens for which protection is provided (OD and wavelength). The fit and visual light transmittance are the remaining leading factors in selecting laser eyewear. Laser protective eyewear can either be full protection or alignment style.
  • Full protection will block a direct or reflective strike from the laser source for a minimum duration of 10 seconds. Full protection must be worn whenever working with solely invisible beams.
  • Alignment eyewear is an option for use with visible beams and gives partial visibility for beam observation from diffuse or attenuated reflections, but not full protection from the direct beam. Authorization to use alignment eyewear will be specifically stated as part of an AHD.
  • In the research setting, there may be times when no commercial laser protective eyewear is available to meet experimental needs. At these times, the user and LSO must re-examine beam controls and, if necessary, select alternative protective eyewear. See the Laser Safety Web page for an extensive review of parameters for the selection of laser protective eyewear, including suggestions for alignment eyewear OD versus beam output.


Affiliates and Visitors

  • Affiliates, visitors, and new employees without Berkeley Lab-approved laser-safety training (or with incomplete laser-safety training) may use lasers ONLY under the line-of-sight supervision of an authorized Berkeley Lab laser user.
  • New users may work under these conditions for a maximum of 60 days before completing the training and medical surveillance requirements.


Service and Repair Providers

  • Firms doing service or maintenance work on lasers under an existing SJHA and laser AHD will follow control measures outlined in the Maintenance section of the laser schedule.
  • Chapter 31, sJHA Process – Subcontractor Job Hazards Analysis, of PUB-3000 defines the process for outside service and repair providers, including laser products. The principal investigator (PI), supervisor, work lead, or equipment owners are responsible for ensuring that subcontractor controls and authorizations are in place before work starts and that subcontractors follow all specified requirements. Laser users are responsible for the safety of these individuals and their safety compliance with Berkeley Lab rules. A control example is: Workers shall receive an orientation to the hazards in the laser-use area and be briefed on the AHD controls.

3.   Substitution of Control Measures

The ANSI Z136.1 Laser Standard gives the LSO authority to recommend or approve substitute or alternate control measures when the primary control measures are not feasible or practical.

Substitute or Alternate Controls Measures include, but are not limited to:

The approval of substitute or alternate controls must be incorporated into the AHD for the laser experiment. Examples would include the use of curtain maze or posting in place of an entrance interlock.

4.   Temporary Controlled Area / Temporary Work Authorization

The concept of a Temporary Controlled Area (TCA) for laser operation comes from the ANSI Z136.1 and Z136.8 standards. A TCA allows a temporary authorization of laser work in a variety of unique settings. The term “Temporary Work Authorization (TWA),” as described in PUB-3000 Chapter 6, Safe Work Authorizations, is equivalent to a TCA.

Examples of a TCA/TWA

The LSO will assist Line Management in generating a TCA/TWA memo listing the circumstances and control measures to be followed by all parties in the TCA/TWA.

Circumstances and Controls to Be Followed in a TCA/TWA

  • All parties will sign the memo indicating that they understand the controls and will abide by them.
  • Line Management must sign off on the TWA and authorize the work. This TWA is to be posted at the work site and is issued for the shortest possible and most practical time duration.


Examples of Sample Controls

  • No unattended laser work is allowed.
  • All users must read and sign the memo.
  • Special Notice Alignment sign must be posted.
  • The user will verify that any protective-housing bypass device has been removed prior to returning the unit to normal operation.
  • If any of these conditions are not followed, the laser work must stop. 

5.   Laser and Laser System Self-Assessments

The following safety analysis process is recommended for laser users in self-assessment of their laser setup during annual review. It is the same process that is used by the LSO during required annual audits.

Basic Guidelines

The laser-use area contains five discrete components. Overarching documents cover management of the system. Each component should be evaluated as listed below.

a.   Laser Source(s):

b.   Beam Path:

c.   Environment:

d.   People:

e.   Documents:

This chapter does not describe the theory behind the laser or a number of laser-safety-related topics such as bio-effects and how to select laser eyewear. Additional laser-safety information is available on the Laser Safety Web site

Work Process C. Procurement Requirements

Classification of Lasers

The nomenclature for the classification of lasers was changed between the 2000 and 2007 versions of ANSI Z136.1. Lasers purchased after 2007 will usually have manufacturers’ labels that conform to the updated requirements. While the strict legal requirement is to conform to the 2000-version nomenclature, use of the 2007 nomenclature would be a de minimis violation. To minimize confusion, both systems will be considered acceptable until equipment with obsolete labels is removed from the system by attrition.

This document will use the current 2007 nomenclature. Table WPC-1 below displays the differences.

Table WPC-1. Standard Laser Classifications for 2000 and 2007

Standard Version

Laser Classifications

2000

1

 

2

 

3a

3b

4

2007

1

1M

2

2M

3R

3B

4

Work Process D. Medical Exam Requirements

Medical Surveillance

Medical Examination

All Class 3B and Class 4 laser users who will be at Berkeley Lab for more than 60 days must complete a laser eye examination.

  • Berkeley Lab Health Services performs this examination in Building 26.
  • Examinations performed outside of Berkeley Lab may be submitted to Health Services for approval and must meet the requirements of the ANSI Z136.1 Standard.

Tracking

Completion of these examinations is tracked as EHS0288 in the training database. For more information, call Health Services at extension 6266 or see PUB-3000 Chapter 3, Health Services.

General Requirements

  • Laser eye examinations will be performed as follow-up to suspected eye exposure, or at the request of the LSO or user. It is strongly recommended that the laser user receive an additional laser eye examination on termination of employment.
  • An optometrist or ophthalmologist must administer the examination.
  • For those who routinely receive ultraviolet exposure as part of their experimental work, an annual skin evaluation is recommended. This service is available through Health Services.

Work Process E. Training Requirements

Background Laser Safety and instructional materials can be found on the Berkeley Lab Laser Safety Web site, and include information on:

Table WPE-1. Laser Training Courses — Required and Recommended

Who

Training Course

Employees working with Class 1, 2, 3A, or 3R lasers

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training), an online course covering the fundamentals of laser safety *: recommended

Employees working with Class 3B or 4 lasers and listed as laser users on an AHD

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training), an online course covering the fundamentals of laser safety: required for anyone who works in a Class 3B or a Class 4 laser area
  • start flag Complete retraining every three years after completion of initial training end flag
  • On-the-Job Training: required

Laser users

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training), an online course covering the fundamentals of laser safety: required
  • start flag Complete retraining every three years after completion of initial training end flag

Affiliates working unsupervised on Class 3B or 4 lasers

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training), an online course covering the fundamentals of laser safety: required
  • start flag Complete retraining every three years after completion of initial training end flag
  • On-the-Job Training: required

Employees working with fiber optics

EHS0300 (Fiber Optics Safety): required for Berkeley Lab staff who handle fiber-optic communications (i.e., IT Division staff). A one-hour lecture is given as needed. Contact the LSO start flag or Deputy LSO end flag to schedule the class.

*Or equivalent course, as determined by the LSO

1.   Class Descriptions

EHS0300 

Fiber Optics Safety is only for staff involved in fiber-optic communications. It is a one-hour lecture that is given as needed. Contact the LSO start flag or Deputy LSO end flag to schedule the class.

EHS 302 

Laser Safety Training is a Web course covering the fundamentals of laser safety. It is required for users of Class 3B and or Class 4 lasers. In addition, it is highly recommended that anyone who regularly works in a Class 3B or a Class 4 laser area take this course. start flag Retraining must be completed every 3-years by retaking the online EHS0302 training. end flag

2.   On-the-Job Training (OJT)

OJT may be a prolonged process. The supervisor/work team lead must ensure that all personnel, visitors, and students with access to the laser-use area have a clear understanding of the controls associated with laser operation and that the relevant laser-safety procedures are diligently followed.

The extent of OJT must be tied to the individual responsibilities and degree of hazard. It can apply to the entire experiment or elements of the research work (specific laser systems or experimental operations).

The supervisor, work lead, or designee shall train/orientate staff on:

OJT shall include:

Both trainer and trainee must document and sign an OJT roster.

Any Lab visitor or affiliate must be provided a safety orientation to the lab space prior to entering the lab.

Laser users must know the safety requirements that apply to their specific laser or laser system and know the contents of the applicable AHD.

The trainer must document and sign an OJT roster that reflects the individual's laser-safety awareness and compliance. This documentation format can be part of the AHD or a paper document that must be available for review (see the sample Core Laser Safety “On the Job Training” Form).

Work Process F. Class 1-3A Lasers

1.   Laser Requirements

Table WPF-1. Class 1-3A Laser Requirements

Class of Laser

Requirements

Class 1 to 3R

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training), a Web-based course*: recommended
  • Activity Hazard Document (AHD) not required

Note: A laser service AHD or a Temporary Work Authorization (TWA) is required under certain conditions.

Retraining

start flag Three-year frequency; retraining requirement is fulfilled by retaking the online EHS0302 training. end flag

2.   Requirements for Class 1 Products (laser scanning confocal microscope, cell sorter, laser interferometer)

The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is the Food and Drug Administration body tasked with developing laser light performance product-safety standards. The CDRH defines a Class 1 product as any laser product that does not permit access during the operation to levels of laser radiation harmful to eyes or skin.

Class 1 Products

  • Class 1 levels of laser radiation are not considered hazardous.
  • Class 1 laser products are used in work areas where no attention or training on laser safety has taken place. Therefore, when open for service, these Class 1 laser products may introduce a potential laser hazard in work areas and to staff unaccustomed to the laser-safety considerations.

During routine operation of a Class 1 product where laser radiation exposure is not possible, laser-safety training, medical surveillance, or user restrictions from a laser-safety perspective are not required. Each unit should have an individual responsible for its proper use.

Servicing or maintenance on Class 1 lasers may allow access to accessible radiation.

Class 1 Laser Service or Maintenance Requirements

  • If Berkeley Lab staff conducts these activities, an AHD is required.
  • If a subcontractor conducts these activities, an SJHA and appropriate safe work authorization must be in place.

3.   Open Beam Class 1, 2, 3A, 3R, 1M, 2M Lasers or Laser Systems

By their classification or definition, and when used as intended, these lasers or laser systems will not present a hazard to the user or those around them.

Signage Recommendations for Class 1, 2, 3A, 3R, 1M, 2M Lasers or Laser Systems

When personnel unfamiliar with the low-hazard nature of laser operations are present, a sign advising of the low-hazard nature of the operation may be appropriate.

In use areas with a likely chance of the beams being viewed through a telescope, microscope, binocular, eye loupe, or other collecting optics, a review by the LSO, or posting of “Caution” signs will be required.

4.   Laser Alignment and Beam Manipulation

The majority of laser accidents in research activities occur while aligning the laser or during similar beam-manipulation activities. All possible steps should be taken to prevent such accidents. These activities require carefully developed and detailed OJT covering hazard identification and mitigation techniques.

NOTE: Only laser users who have received OJT and are authorized by the supervisor, work lead, or designee shall perform laser-alignment/beam-manipulation activities unsupervised.

The following laser-alignment precautions should be in every laser-alignment procedure:

Work Process G. Class 3B-4 Lasers

1.   Laser Requirements

Table WPG-1. Class 3B-4 Laser Requirements

Class of Laser

Requirements

Class 3B & Class 4

  • EHS 302 (Laser Safety Training) (Web)*: required
  • AHD required
  • OJT: documentation required
  • All lasers listed in the Laser Inventory System
  • Use of approved laser protective eyewear when required
  • Baseline laser eye examination
  • See this chapter for other control measures.
  • For necessity of room access interlocks, contact the LSO.

ALS Users

  • EHS 302, a Web-based course
  • ALS users must take EHS 302 before using the facility.

Retraining

start flag Three-year frequency; retraining requirement is fulfilled by retaking the online EHS0302 training. end flag

*Or equivalent course, as determined by the LSO

2.   General Requirements for Class 3B and Class 4 Laser Systems

Authorization to use Class 3B or Class 4 lasers or laser systems is granted to laser users through a formal authorization process. The authorizing document is referenced as an Activity Hazard Document (AHD; see Chapter 6 of PUB-3000). The AHD and AHD template can be accessed from the Berkeley Lab Web site (from the A–Z listing, under A for AHD, or under L for Laser Safety).

Class 3B and Class 4 Use Guidelines

  • Only the supervisor can submit an AHD for review.
  • The LSO may approve use of Class 3B and Class 4 lasers or laser systems without an AHD in certain situations. These are in selective or predetermined situations that will be described in the section on Temporary Work Authorization (which is equivalent to the ANSI term "Temporary Control Area").
  • Class 3B and Class 4 laser or laser system use in fiber-based communication systems are exempt from the AHD requirement, but training requirements do exist for service staff.


Class 3B and Class 4 Use Requirements

  • An approved and current AHD, which entails the completion of the following required training:
    • EHS 302, a Web-based course
    • Equivalent approved training
  • Area-specific OJT
  • Baseline laser eye examination (EHS0288, Laser Eye Exam)
  • Use of approved laser protective eyewear, when required
  • Evaluation and approval of laser controls by the LSO
  • Having all lasers listed in the Laser Inventory System
  • Triennial (i.e., every three years) refresher training (start flag EHS0302, Laser Safety online course end flag)

3.   Class 3B and Class 4 Use Area Control Measures

The Class 3B and Class 4 laser or laser system controls are intended to prevent exposure to hazardous levels of laser radiation for all individuals who may enter the control area. Each particular set of controls will be tailored to the hazards present.

The LSO and appropriate supervisor or work lead will conduct the laser hazard review (see Section 1 in Work Process B for the hazard evaluation approach).

Class 3B and Class 4 Control Measures

Control

Description

Access control 

Can be a nondefeatable interlock, a defeatable interlock, a card-key access, and/or administrative controls (posting). See the LSO for the correct access control approach.

Beam control

All laser beams shall be contained to the optical table. This can be accomplished through beam blocks, perimeter guards, complete table enclosures, etc. Any exceptions to this (beam-crossing walkways, beams from one room to another, vertical beams) must be carefully planned and associated hazards mitigated (e.g., by labeled beam blocks or enclosed tubes, etc).

Exiting control area

Laser users must confine all laser beams to the laser-use area. This can be accomplished by curtains, barriers, or beam blocks. Any exceptions to this (beams from one room to another, beams across shielding walls, outside applications) must be carefully planned and associated hazards mitigated (e.g., by labeled beam blocks, enclosed tubes).

Posting

Approved laser “Warning” or “Danger” signs will be posted at the entrances to these laser-use areas.

Eyewear

Approved laser eyewear will be provided and worn as required.

Training 

An individual knowledgeable in laser safety (see Work Process E) will supervise or conduct training.

Authorized

Only staff who have met Class 3B and Class 4 user requirements can use those classes of lasers, unsupervised.

4.   Laser Alignment and Beam Manipulation

The majority of laser accidents in research activities occur while aligning the laser or during similar beam-manipulation activities. All possible steps should be taken to prevent such accidents. These activities require carefully developed and detailed OJT covering hazard identification and mitigation techniques.

NOTE: Only laser users who have received OJT and are authorized by the supervisor, work lead, or designee shall perform laser-alignment/beam-manipulation activities unsupervised.

The following laser-alignment precautions should be in every laser-alignment procedure:

Work Process H. Special Topics

1.   Laser Use Requirements for Berkeley Lab Off-Site Staff

No Berkeley Lab employee should work in an off-site facility where the employee feels his or her safety is at risk. If such an occasion arises, stop work and discuss with the Berkeley Lab supervisor or work lead (line management) or local management, or contact the Berkeley Lab LSO to see what assistance Berkeley Lab can grant the host site. Safety of laser users on site is extremely important to the Laboratory. Laser safety at off-site locations (even at other DOE facilities) should be equivalent to safety at Berkeley Lab.

Off-site locations fall into two categories:

2.   Berkeley Lab Employees Working on the UC Berkeley Campus

Berkeley Lab’s laser-safety responsibility on the UC Berkeley campus will extend only to the training of Berkeley Lab employees working with lasers on campus as part of their Berkeley Lab employment duties.

The Berkeley Lab LSO will ensure that Laboratory employees working on the UC Berkeley campus receive training (including OJT) equivalent to that of Berkeley Lab employees working on site, and has the discretion to grant training credit for equivalent training received on campus (or other institutions).

In compliance with the Partnership Agreement between UCB and Berkeley Lab Concerning Environment, Health and Safety Policy Procedures:

Both Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley laser-safety programs are based on the ANSI Z136.1 standard and should be equivalent.

The Berkeley Lab LSO may periodically visit Berkeley Lab laser users working on the UC Berkeley campus. The visits will be arranged in collaboration with the UC Berkeley LSO.

3.   Suspected Laser Injury

Accidental or suspected laser-beam exposure is a serious event. Laser users must report all suspected or known laser accidents, no matter how minimal the accident, to Health Services for medical attention and evaluation. After medical attention and evaluation is rendered, report the exposure to the supervisor and the Berkeley Lab LSO. The key action initially is to keep the individual calm.

If an Injury Is Suspected:

  1. Get medical attention as soon as possible.
  2. Notify others in the area if a hazard still exists.
  3. Stop work and turn off laser.
  4. Do not alter the laser setup (this allows analysis of the cause of the accident).
  5. Call 7-911 from a Berkeley Lab phone, 911 from a cell phone, or 9-911 from off-site laboratories.
  6. Transport exposed individuals to Health Services (Building 26) for evaluation.
  7. Notify the laser user’s work lead or supervisor and the Berkeley Lab LSO.

The LSO will perform a follow-up investigation of all reported suspected and known injury incidents to:

When appropriate, a Lessons Learned will be generated.

Work Process I. Berkeley Lab Response to Laser Injury

In the event of a confirmed laser-inflicted injury or incident at Berkeley Lab, the following Laser Incident Management Plan will be followed:

Laser Incident Management Plan

Step

Action

Step 1 — Performed within the First Few Hours of the Incident

 

  1. The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) makes a preliminary decision in an Extent of Condition (EOC). (Typically, the EOC affects only the laser laboratory directly involved in the incident, but may include other laser laboratories, depending upon the nature of the incident.)
  2. The appropriate Berkeley Lab managers review the EOC.
  3. If Berkeley Lab management concurs with the EOC, the affected facility or facilities are instructed to suspend operation.

Step 2 — Performed within the First Few Days of the Incident

  1. The LSO begins the incident investigation. If the incident meets Occurrence Reporting and Processing System (ORPS) requirements, an ORPS investigation team will also be formed.
  2. The rest of the Berkeley Lab laser-user community is notified of the incident.

Step 3 — Performed throughout the Investigation

 

  1. The LSO reviews the preliminary EOC as more information becomes available during the investigation.
  2. This information is provided to the Laser Safety Committee (LSC). A discussion between the LSO and the LSC may lead the LSO to modify the preliminary EOC, either by expanding the preliminary EOC to include other laser laboratories, or retracting it. (The discussion between the LSO and the LSC may be inconclusive, and may thus require further assessment of individual laser laboratories.)
  3. The appropriate Berkeley Lab managers review the modified EOC.
  4. If Berkeley Lab management concurs with the modified EOC, the LSO instructs the affected laser laboratories to either close or open per the modified EOC.
  5. Step 3 of this Laser Incident Management Plan may be repeated throughout the investigation, depending on the nature of the information and causal-analysis results found by the LSO.

Step 4 — Performed as the Investigation Develops Corrective Actions

 

  1. The LSO develops a Restart Plan to bring the affected laser laboratories back online. The plan may consist of:
    1. Preliminary, remedial actions in addition to final, preventive actions
    2. Facility and staff procedures
  2. The LSC reviews the Restart Plan. If the LSC concurs with the plan, it is sent to the appropriate Berkeley Lab managers for their review. 
    If the appropriate Berkeley Lab managers concur with the Restart Plan, the LSO notifies the affected laser users that an approved Restart Plan is ready for implementation.
  3. The Restart Plan may be phased in by users of the affected labs during an ongoing investigation.

Step 5 — Performed When Affected Laser Labs Are Back Online, and a Restart Plan Has Been Implemented

 

  1. The LSO or LSC confirms completion of the Restart Plan.
  2. The LSO develops Lessons Learned, if appropriate.
  3. Three to six months after the affected laboratory has been brought back online, the LSO follows up by reviewing how effectively the laboratory implemented the Restart Plan and corrective actions.

 

16.6 Related PUB-3000 Chapters

Chapter 4, Industrial Hygiene 

Chapter 6, Safe Work Authorizations 

Chapter 8, Electrical Safety

Chapter 13, Gases

Chapter 18, Lockout/Tagout and Verification

Chapter 19, Personal Protective Equipment

Chapter 23, Seismic Safety

Chapter 31, sJHA Process – Subcontractor Job Hazards Analysis

Chapter 32, Job Hazards Analysis

16.7 Regulations

16.8 Standards

The 2000 version of ANSI Z136.1 was included in the 10 CFR 851 DOE Worker Safety and Health Program rule and must be complied with as law.

16.9 Appendices

Appendix A. Laser Supplies

Table A-1 lists reference sources for information on laser-safety items.

Table A-1. Information Sources for Laser Safety Items

Item

Information Source

Warning and danger signs

Laser Safety Web page or LSO

Laser labels

LSO

Eyewear literature

Laser Safety Web page or LSO

Eyewear holders

LSO

Curtain material

Laser Safety Web page

Appendix B. Phone Numbers

Table B-1. Phone Numbers

Job Title or Organization

Individual

Phone Number

Laser Safety Officer

Greta Toncheva

510-495-2544 (Desk) or

510-604-8476 (Mobile)

Deputy Laser Safety Officer

Robert Fairchild

510-495-2278 (Desk) or

510-926-2051 (Mobile)

Health Services (Medical) Department

 

6266

Emergency

 

7911 
(or 911 on a cell phone)

Appendix C. Forms

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