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Laser Safety

Signs and Labels

Good signage and labels are critical to inform both laser users and non users of the potential hazards they could be exposing themselves to.

Safety signs should be used only where appropriate and should be clear and unambiguous otherwise they are often ignored.  Warning signs should indicate the equipment in use and the appropriate action or actions to protect one self. Examples are shown in figure 9.4. Signs should be placed at the entrance to and within a controlled area at eye level. All safety signs should comply with European EN 60825-1:2014 standard, section 7 page 49.

Lasers need to be appropriately labeled showing the power and the CLASS, although this is typically done by the manufacturer you may need to consider relabeling if through your work you have inadvertently or deliberatley changed the CLASS of the laser through the use of focusing optics etc. If the laser has been classed using an old or another standard (e.g.ANSI Z136.1), you may need to relabel using the current European EN 60825-1 standard.

Warning lights are an administrative control used to tell personnel that a laser is on and possibly emitting. A flashing red light connected to the interlock system on the laser is typically mounted near the entry point to the controlled area. For more information on interlocks and warning lights contact the Laser safety officer.

These labels and signs can be purchased from various companies providing laser safety equipment and signage. You may print you own if they comply with the EN 60825-1 standard. It is reccomended that you laminate them to protect them.

Images of relevant Laser warning signs and labels:

YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PLACE A SIGN DISPLAYING THE LASER WAVELENGTHS IN USE ON THE ENTRANCE TO THE LABORATORY SO THAT PEOPLE ENTERING KNOW WHAT PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR TO USE!