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ANSI Z136.2

2012 Edition, 2012

Complete Document

Safe Use of Optical Fiber Communication Systems Utilizing Laser Diode and LED Sources

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2012 Edition, 2012
  • Published Date: January 2012
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Laser Institute of America (LIA/LASER)
  • Page Count: 148
  • ANSI Approved: Yes
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This standard addresses hazards and provides guidance for the safe use, maintenance, service, and installation (manufacturer) of optical communications systems (OCS) utilizing laser diodes or light emitting diodes (LED) operating at wavelengths between 0.6 µm and 1 mm and not intended for visual communications.1 For purposes of this standard, OCS includes end-to-end optical fiber based links (optical fiber communications systems – OFCS), fixed terrestrial point-to-point free-space links (free space optical communications systems – FSOCS) or a combination of both.

Sections 3.4 and 4.3 of this standard apply only to systems or parts of systems where the radiant energy is confined within an optical fiber during intended use (OFCS); Sections 3.5 and 4.4 of this standard apply only to those open beam systems where the radiant energy is always available during intended use (FSOCS). As defined in this standard, FSOCS applies only to fixed, point-to-point terrestrial systems used for telecommunications purposes. For other freespace optical systems and applications, refer to ANSI Z136.6.

NOTE—LEDs are included in the scope of this standard for the following reasons: 1) The optical energy emitted by an LED (usually an edge-emitter) launched into an optical fiber results in a worstcase viewing condition approximately the same as if the source were a laser. 2) Although the spectral bandwidth of an LED is much larger than that of a laser, the spectral emission is still relatively narrow and the tables for the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) values and accessible emission limits (AEL) can still be used satisfactorily to provide conservative results.


The purpose of this standard is to provide specific requirements for the safe use, service, operation, maintenance and installation of OCS, including OFCS and FSOCS. As such, it is intended to be used by those who assemble the end-to-end system (installation) and by service, maintenance, and other personnel who may come in contact with such systems where access is in uncontrolled, controlled and restricted locations. It provides detailed safety information for systems where optical energy may be accessible and where source parameters are uncertain or not under the control of the user.

NOTE—It is recognized that the user of this standard may fall into one or more of the following categories: manufacturer, installer, or service/installation and/or operating organization. Although the installer of the end-to-end system comprised of certified products, e.g., products certified in accordance with the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard, could be considered the final "manufacturer," the overall system is generally not considered to be the certified product.

This standard places the responsibility for certain product safety requirements, as well as requirements for providing appropriate information on how to use these systems safely, on the manufacture of the system and/or transmitters. The manufacturers and their products are subject to the requirements of the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard2 (FLPPS); the safe deployment and use of these systems is the responsibility of the installation and/or operating organization. It places the responsibility for adherence to safety instructions during installation and service operations on the installation and service organizations as appropriate, and operation and maintenance functions on the operating organization.