Revised ANSI Z136.1 standard promotes safer facilities

April 1, 2014

Updated for the first time in the last seven years, the new American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers is available from the Laser Institute of America, secretariat of the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z136, which develops the laser safety standards. The ANSI Z136.1 standard guides the safe use of lasers and laser systems by defining control measures for the seven laser hazard classifications.

Several sections have been rewritten to reorganize, update, and improve technical content to allow for easier access to information necessary for everyday laser safety implementation. Like past standards, it covers intrabeam viewing and viewing of diffuse reflections and extended sources, considering photochemical, thermal, and skin hazards.

The standard features 19 new definitions of key terms; a significant increase in allowed exposure levels for wavelengths between 1.2 µm and 1.4 µm, and a slight decrease in exposure limits for pulses shorter than approximately 10 µs; examples involving new exposure limits added to Appendix B; and the inclusion in the analysis of laser hazard classifications of the degradation of optics transmission in the UV and NIR.

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