European and International Laser Safety Standard

BS EN IEC 60825-1:2014
“Safety of laser products Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements’

This is the fundamental laser safety document* to which all other laser safety documents* refer. It defines Maximum Permissible Exposures (MPEs), Accessible Emission limits (AELs), laser classes and measurement conditions, labelling, engineering controls etc. The manufacturer’s section is mandatory for all laser products sold in Europe.

The issue of Laser Notice 50 (see below) by the FDA increases the importance and use of this standard and effectively makes it the worldwide laser safety standard.

NB The IEC version is identical to the BS EN version.

* Except for USA where ANSI Z136.1 is used.

Fibre Optic Communication System Laser Safety Standard (available in IEC or BS EN versions)

BS EN 60825-2:2004+A2:2010
‘Safety of laser products Part 2: – Safety of optical fibre communication systems’

To be used in conjunction with IEC 60825-1 this standard defines the laser safety requirements for manufacturers and users of fibre optic communication systems. It defines Hazard Levels, labelling and engineering controls including Automatic Power Reduction (APR).

BS EN 60825-4:2006+A2:2011

Safety of laser products. Laser guards

Laser Protective Eyewear Standard

BS EN 207:2017 Personal eye-protection equipment. Filters and eye-protectors against laser radiation (laser eye-protectors)

This is a manufacturers standard. However, it is also required by users in order to be able to specify the correct eyewear and to interpret the markings on the eyewear which give its specification. The ‘LB’ numbers and other testing requirements are specified.

BS EN 208:2009 Personal eye-protection. Eye-protectors for adjustment work on lasers and laser systems (laser adjustment eye-protectors)

BS EN 208 applies to laser adjustment filters and eye-protectors. These are filters and eye-protectors for use in adjustment work on lasers and laser systems as defined in EN 60825-1:2007 where hazardous radiation occurs in the visible spectral range of 400 nm to 700 nm.

Filters specified in BS EN 208 reduce this radiation to values defined for lasers of class 2 [_1 mW for CW (continuous wave) lasers].

BS EN 208 defines requirements, test methods and marking. A guide is given in Annex B with regard to selection and use.

Before selecting eye-protection according to this standard a risk assessment should be undertaken.

FDA Laser Notice 50 – Free

The USA has always had its own regulation on lasers (known as 21 CFR 1040.10). This is a USA government regulation (rather than a standard) and is written into US law. However, it has not been updated for about 30 years and is consequently very out of step with the IEC / EN standard. Manufacturers exporting to or from the USA have therefore had to classify their products to two different standards with different labelling, engineering requirements and sometimes with different Classifications.

Issued on 27 May 2001 this notice informs laser product manufacturers that the US FDA will now accept IEC classification and labelling. This greatly simplifies the compliance task for manufacturers selling to both markets. There are still some extra requirements for the USA, which are outlined in this notice and in 21 CFR 1040.10

Please note that all laser products must still be registered with the FDA prior to entry into the USA. This is done by submitting a Laser Product Report to the FDA. Lasermet specialise in compiling and submitting such reports Click here for FDA Registration.

USA Laser Product Regulation 21 CFR 1040.10 – Free

The section above on ‘laser notice 50’ explains the relationship of this regulation to the IEC standard. Manufacturers may still wish to classify products sold in the USA to 21 CFR 1040.10. In any case parts of it are still required under laser notice 50.