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ANSI Z136.4

2010 Edition, 2010

Complete Document

Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2010 Edition, 2010
  • Published Date: January 2010
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Laser Institute of America (LIA/LASER)
  • Page Count: 126
  • ANSI Approved: Yes
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This document provides adequate, practical guidance for necessary measurement procedures used for classification and hazard evaluation of lasers. This document is intended to provide guidance for manufacturers, laser safety officers (LSOs), and trained laser users.


This document provides practical guidance for the measurement of those parameters necessary for the classification and evaluation of optical radiation hazards associated with lasers. Evaluation consists of comparing measured exposure levels with the appropriate maximum permissible exposure (MPE) values such as those found in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1 American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers. The MPE is based on the ability of the laser beam or its reflection or scattering to cause biological damage to the eye or skin. Classification consists of comparing accessible radiation levels with accessible emission limits (AELs), such as those in the Federal Laser Product Performance Standard (FLPPS) 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11, or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60825-1 laser safety standard.

Generally, measurements for hazard evaluation are required only when the manufacturer's information is not available, when the laser or laser system has not been classified, or when suspected malfunctions or alterations to a system may have changed its classification or the potential hazard. For laser manufacturers and developers of lasers in the research environment, etc., measurements are especially important.

If there is a potential for exposure to laser radiation within the nominal hazard zone (NHZ) requiring the use of personal protective devices, then measurements should be attempted only by personnel trained or experienced in laser technology and radiometry. Routine survey measurements of lasers or laser systems are neither required nor advisable when the laser classifications are known, except as noted above.

This document addresses only the measurement of those parameters associated with the laser output beam. Consult ANSI Z136.1 for information pertaining to non-beam hazards associated with lasers and laser systems. Lasers or laser systems certified for a specific class by a manufacturer in accordance with the FLPPS or IEC 60825-1 standard may be considered as fulfilling all classification requirements of this recommended practice. In cases where the laser or laser system classification is not provided or where the class may change because of system alteration or the addition or deletion of engineering control measures, the LSO should ensure that reclassification of the laser or laser system is in accordance with ANSI Z136.1, the FLPPS, or IEC 60825-1.