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  • Quiz
  • Laser Classification

    All lasers are classified by the manufacturer and labelled with the appropriate warning labels. Any modification of an existing laser or an unclassified laser must be classified by the Laser Safety Officer prior to use. The following criteria are used to classify lasers:

    1. Wavelength. If the laser is designed to emit multiple wavelengths the classification is based on the most hazardous wavelength.

    2. For continuous wave (CW) or repetitively pulsed lasers the average power output (Watts) and limiting exposure time inherent in the design are considered.

    3. For pulsed lasers the total energy per pulse (Joule), pulse duration, pulse repetition frequency and emergent beam radiant exposure are considered.

     

    Class 1 Lasers

    These are lasers that are not hazardous for continuous viewing or are designed in such a way that prevent human access to laser radiation. These consist of low power lasers or higher power embedded lasers. (i.e. laser printers)

    Lasers previously classified as 2A lasers are now classified as Class 1.

    These lasers are exempt from all control measures

    Class 1M Lasers

    Lasers that will not produce eye injury except when viewed with optical aids such as eye-loupes, telescopes, etc.

    Class 2 Visible Lasers (400 to 700 nm)

    Lasers emitting visible light which because of normal human aversion responses, do not normally present a hazard, but would if viewed directly for extended periods of time. (like many conventional light sources)

    Class 2M Lasers (400 to 700 nm)

    Lasers emitting visible light which because of normal human aversion responses, do not normally present a hazard, but would be hazardous if viewed with optical aids.

    Class 3

    Direct viewing of the beam or viewing a specular reflection of the beam may damage the eye. Viewing diffuse reflections is not hazardous. The beams from these lasers are not a fire hazard.

    Class 3R

    Class 3R laser are potentiality hazardous to the eye if the the direct beam or specular reflection is viewed, to create a hazard the eye must be focused and stable(i.e. deliberately staring at the beam)

    Class 3B

    Class 3B lasers are hazardous if the direct beam or specula reflection is viewed.

    Class 4

    Class 4 lasers are ;

    1. Direct beam hazard the eye and skin
    2. Specular reflection hazard the eye and skin
    3. Diffuse reflection hazard the eye and skin
    4. Fire hazard
    5. May produce air borne contaminants