Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Class 3B and 4 laser working rules

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Working rules are essential for all Class 3B and Class 4 lasers to ensure they are used with a high standard of safety.

Australian Standard AS 2211 details the main procedures and check lists. The working rules common to all Class 3B and Class 4 lasers, listed below, should be combined with specific rules for each laser.

AS2211 working rules

  1. Do not look into the laser beam. (For any class of laser this is a hazardous practice.)
  2. The laser must be used within a controlled area from which the laser beam cannot escape. Ensure that the controlled area is clearly defined with signs, and all windows and other outlets are blocked.
  3. Within the controlled area and with the laser:
    • There should be a shutter at the laser aperture.
    • Use the correct signs, according to AS2211, on laser, at laser aperture and in the area.
    • Ensure the power supply is keyed, with the key stored safely while the laser is not in use.
    • Mount laser components well below eye level and secure on the table
    • Use beam stops to terminate the beam and prevent its uncontrolled transmission.
    • Enclose beam paths with interlocked covers so that the laser beam cannot escape from the controlled area.
    • Remove specular reflecting surfaces.
    • Use low power or neutral density filters during alignment or other set up procedures.
    • Wear the appropriate goggles when the laser is energised.
    • Illuminated light at entrance and on laser – indicating clearly when the beam is on.
    • Avoid hazardous electrical situations.
    • Door interlocks may be required to terminate the laser beam when the door is opened.
  4. Immediate measures must be taken to remove potentially hazardous situations arising from laser beams that may be emitted due to equipment defect, misalignment or any other reason.
  5. Additional working rules, specific for each laser must, where necessary, be documented to ensure the safe operation of the unit.
  6. Class 3B and 4 laser equipment must not be operated by inexperienced persons unless under the immediate personal supervision of an experienced licensed operator.
  7. Visual alignments or adjustments must not be carried out whilst the laser on full power, unless suitable goggles are used which prevent exposure to the eyes.
  8. Users of Class 3B or Class 4 lasers must hold a laser licence or be under the supervision of a licence holder.
  9. Accidents and incidents must be reported to the UWA Safety and Health.
  10. You should be familiar with the contact details of your school laser safety officer.