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
- Do not look into the laser beam. (For any class of laser this is a hazardous practice.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Additional working rules, specific for each laser must, where necessary, be documented to ensure the safe operation of the unit.
- Class 3B and 4 laser equipment must not be operated by inexperienced persons unless under the immediate personal supervision of an experienced licensed operator.
- 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.
- Users of Class 3B or Class 4 lasers must hold a laser licence or be under the supervision of a licence holder.
- Accidents and incidents must be reported to the UWA Safety and Health.
- You should be familiar with the contact details of your school laser safety officer.