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Laser Safety Standards

Safety Standards for Manufacturers

General Laser Safety

21 CFR 1040, Laser Product Performance Standard, U.S. Center for Device and Radiological Health (CDRH). Regulations that are mandatory for all laser products sold to end users in the United States. Available from the CDRH

IEC 60825-1, Safety of Laser Products - Part 1: Equipment classification, requirements, and user's guide. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) amended in 1997, 2001, and 2007. This provides requirements for laser product manufacturers that are similar to the CDRH laser regulations. Available from the LIA, ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

EN60825-1, Safety of Laser Products - Part 1: Equipment classification, requirements, and user's guide. Cenelec. Originally published in 1994 and amended in 1996, 2001, and 2007, and essentially identical to IEC 60825-1. Available in English from the British Standards Institute (BSI) in London.

Laser Material Processing Systems

ISO 11553-1, Safety of Machinery - Laser Processing Machines - Safety Requirements, International Standards Organization, 2005. Applies requirements for laser materials processing systems that are fully assembled and ready to use. Available from ANSI in New York and from the ISO in Geneva.

EN 12626, Safety of Machinery - Laser Processing Machines - Safety Requirements, International Standards Organization, 1997. Essentially identical to requirements in ISO 11553. Available in English from the British Standards Institute (BSI) in London.

ANSI B11.21-1997, Machine Tools Using Lasers for Processing Materials - Safety Requirements for Design, Construction, Care, and Use. A document that is based on the ISO 11553 international standard for manufacturers and users of laser materials processing systems. Available from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

IEC 60825-4, Safety of Laser Products - Part 4: Safety of laser products - Part 4: Laser Guards, International Electrotechnical Commission (1997). This provides guidance for manufacturers on the design and testing of materials used to enclose the process zone of laser materials processing systems. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

Optical Communications Systems

IEC 60825-2, Safety of Laser Products - Part 2: Safety of optical fiber communication systems. International Electrotechnical Commission, Originally published in 1993 and amended in 2000 and 2006. This provides guidance for manufacturers, installers and users of fiber optic communications equipment. Available from the LIA, ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

IEC 60825-12, Safety of Laser Products - Part 12: Safety of free space optical communication systems used for transmission of information. International Electrotechnical Commission (2004). This provides guidance for manufacturers, installers and users of free space optical communications equipment. Available from ANSI in New York and from the (LIA) in Geneva.

Medical Laser Equipment

IEC 60601-2-22 Medical electrical equipment - Part 2-22: Particular requirements for basic safety and essential performance of surgical, therapeutic, and diagnostic laser equipment. International Electrotechnical Commission, Edition 3 (2007). This provides revisions to the IEC 60601-1 general standard applicable for Class 3B and Class 4 laser products. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

IEC 60601-1-Medical electrical equipment - Part 1-1: General requirements for safety - Collateral standard: Safety requirements for medical electrical systems. (2000). International Electrotechnical Commission. This provides general safety requirements formedical electrical equipment. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

Safety Standards for Users

ANSI Z136.1 Standard for the safe use of lasers. The basic laser safety document for users of laser products, including manufacturing facilities. Available from the Laser Institute of America LIA. 2000

ANSI Z136.2 Standard for the safe use of optical fiber communication systems utilizing laser diode and LED sources. A document that provides guidance for fiber communication system installers and users with exposure limits that are based on the ANSI Z136.1 standard. Available from the Laser Institute of America LIA. 1997

ANSI Z136.3 Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities. A document that provides guidance for users of medical lasers with exposure limits that are based on the ANSI Z136.1 standard. Available from the Laser Institute of America LIA. 1996

ANSI Z136.6 Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors. A document that provides guidance for users of lasers that will be located outdoors. Exposure limits are based on the ANSI Z136.1 standard, with the addition of limits for visual interference (e.g. for aircraft). Available from the Laser Institute of America (LIA). 2005

IEC 60825-14, Safety of Laser Products - Part 14: A User?s Guide. International Electrotechnical Commission (2004) This provides user requirements that are similar to those in the ANSI Z136.1 laser safety standard, but with a risk analysis orientation. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

IEC 60825-2, Safety of Laser Products - Part 2: Safety of optical fiber communication systems. International Electrotechnical Commission, Originally published in 1993 and amended in 2000 and 2006. This provides guidance for manufacturers, installers and users of fiber communications equipment. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

IEC 60825-12, Safety of Laser Products - Part 12: Safety of free space optical communication systems used for transmission of information. International Electrotechnical Commission (2004). This provides guidance for manufacturers, installers and users of free space optical communications equipment. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

ANSI B11.21-1997, Machine Tools Using Lasers for Processing Materials - Safety Requirements for Design, Construction, Care, and Use. A document that is based on the ISO 11553 international standard for manufacturers and users of laser materials processing systems. Available from the American National Standards Institute ANSI

IEC 825-3, Safety of Laser Products - Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows (1996). Is being redesignated as IEC 60825-3. This provides guidance and safety criteria for design, installation, operation, and evaluation of laser light shows and laser displays. Available from ANSI in New York and from the IEC in Geneva.

Safety Standards Organizations

CDRH- Center for Devices and Radiological Health - An agency within the U.S. FDA which publishes and enforces legal requirements on lasers.

IEC- International Electrotechnical Commission - An organization that publishes international standards on electrical subjects. These are not laws, and the adoption and enforcement of IEC standards are at the discretion of individual nations.

ISO- International Standards Organization - An organization that is equivalent to the IEC, except that the ISO publishes international standards on non-electrical subjects.

CEN and CENELEC- European equivalents of ISO and IEC. CEN and CENELEC standards are typically European Norms (EN), and many are published in response to directives from the European Commission.

ANSI- American National Standards Institute - A U.S. organization that publishes standards for laser users. The ANSI Z136.1 general laser safety standard is not a law, but it forms the basis for state and OSHA requirements for the use of lasers. Other standards in the ANSI Z136 series are intended for specific applications. An ANSI B11 committee publishes standards for machine tool safety.

LIA- Laser Institute of America - An organization which provides laser safety information, including conferences, symposia, publica-tions, and training courses. Publications include the ANSI Z136 series of laser safety standards and the Journal of Laser Applications.

*contact Bob Weiner to access copies of all publications*