Laser Environmental Factors
Three aspects of the application of a laser or laser system influence the total
- The laser or laser system's ability to injure personnel.
- The environment in which the laser is used.
- The personnel who may use or be exposed to the beam.
All three aspects must be considered in order to establish control measures
commensurate with the potential hazard.
The environment in which the laser is used may vary with each application.
It is extremely important, however, that the environment in which the laser is
used be considered in order to determine whether or not the control measures are
adequate, or if some are unnecessary. For example, the controls for a laser robotic
system used on a production floor would be expected to be considerably different
from those used in a research laboratory. As a minimum, the following shall be
- Number of lasers or laser systems.
- Degree of isolation (laboratory, production floor).
- Probability of the presence of uninformed, unprotected transient personnel.
- Permanence of beam path(s).
- Permanence of specularly reflecting objects in or near the beam path.
- The use of optics (e.g., lenses, microscopes, optical fibers).