This standard addresses laser safety concerns and situations characteristic of the educational environment. This standard is not a substitute for ANSI Z136.1-2007, which is required for a full understanding of laser safety officer duties and laser hazard evaluation. Environments characteristic of educational institutions wherein lasers may be found include teaching laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls, science fairs, museums, and student projects on and off campus. This standard is intended for faculty and students using lasers at primary, secondary, and college levels of education excluding graduate level research laboratories (these laboratories should comply with the latest version of ANSI Z136.1). The wavelength range of interest includes the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, specifically the wavelength range from 0.18 micrometer (μm) to 1 millimeter (mm).
The purpose of this standard is to provide reasonable and adequate guidance for the safe use of lasers in educational environments by evaluating and minimizing hazards associated with laser radiation. That educational environment excludes the graduate level research laboratory; graduate level research laboratories should comply with the latest version of ANSI Z136.1. The hazard evaluation procedure used in this standard is based on the classification (Class 1 through Class 4) of the laser or laser system, which is related to the ability of the laser beam to cause biological damage to the eye or skin during intended use. The amount of laser radiation emitted from Class 1 lasers and laser systems is considered to be non-hazardous; Class 4 lasers and laser systems possess the highest potential hazard.