Duration: 1-2 hours
- Hazard and Risk
- Laser Classification – the laser hazard
- The human eye
- Assessing the risk of damage from laser light
- Biological damage from laser light
- Reporting Procedures
- Laser Safety – The Company and the Individual
1. Hazard and Risk
Definition of the terms “hazard” and “risk”. This is required as background to subsequent sections.
2. Laser Classification – the laser hazard
Description of the laser classes. What they mean in terms of hazard. Assumptions made when classifying lasers – the “worst reasonably foreseeable event”. What the classification signs look like and what they say. What precautions should be taken.
3. The human eye
Brief description of the anatomy of the human eye. Definition of the optical spectrum. Response of the eye to optical radiation. Which tissues are affected by which wavelengths. The warning signs (visual, pain,) or the lack of them. The model of the human eye used in laser safety.
4. Assessing the risk of damage from laser light
Risk assessment. How likely is it that the laser hazard (which is known through classification) will lead to injury. “Maximum Permissible Exposures” how they are determined, what they mean. Distinction between collimated and divergent beams – the concept of “Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance” and its significance. When does a “dangerous laser” present no risk.
5. Biological damage from laser light
The damage mechanisms – photochemical – thermal as a function of wavelength. Differences between photochemical and thermal hazards. The effects of over exposure to laser radiation – to the retina, to the cornea, to skin as a function of wavelength and the resultant physical symptoms.
6. Reporting Procedures
The need to report a possible laser accident immediately and the need for a rapid response. Why this is a legal, not a medical requirement.
7. Laser Safety – The Company and the Individual
Safety is the joint responsibility of the Company and of its employees. The actions which should be undertaken by each party to ensure a safe environment (a laser safety programme) will be described.