Laser Inspection Guidelines



Table of Contents

1.0 Laser Principal Investigator (LPI) 3

2.0 Laser Inventory 3

3.0 Laser Safety Training 3

4.0 Laser Registration 4

5.0 Engineering Controls 4

6.0 Administrative and Procedural Controls 5

7.0 Personnel Protective Equipment 6

8.0 Non-Beam Hazards 7

9.0 Emergency Response 8

Glossary of Acronyms 9

1.0 Laser Principal Investigator (LPI)

1.1 Required Laser Safety Records were not available for audit. All laser safety records must be organized and kept in a central location. These records include the Laser Standard Operating Procedure (LSOP) and the Laser Standard Operating Procedure Training Record and must be:

Kept in a clearly labeled binder or binders.

Maintained in a central location

Available for inspection.

1.2 Laser Operators (LO's) were not updated in the EHSA database. LPI's are responsible for ensuring that LO's are updated in the EHSA database in a timely manner. New LO's must be added, and LO's no longer operating lasers must be removed from the LPI's permit in EHSA. RSOS issues a password to the LPI or Assistant LPI (ALPI) which allows EHSA access.

1.3 Some recorded dates do not include the year. All dates in a record must include the year. Preferred format: month / day / year (i.e., 06/30/13 for June 30, 2013).

 

2.0 Laser Inventory

2.1 The Laser Standard Operating Procedure(s) does not accurately reflect the lasers and laser systems in use. Each laser or laser system requiring a SOP must have a specific SOP which accurately documents the laser characteristics (i.e., class, power, control measures etc.).

 

3.0 Laser Safety Training

3.1 Basic Laser Safety Training (BLS) has not been completed. The GU BLS is mandatory for all LOs (including LPIs and ALPIs). This training is periodically conducted by the GU Laser Safety Staff (LSS). Interim use of a laser or laser system is permitted provided that the LO has received the appropriate Laser SOP Training and is under the direct supervision of a LPI or ALPI.

3.2 Laser Safety Refresher Training has not been completed. All LO's (including LPIs and ALPIs) must complete LS Refresher training in a timely manner.

3.3 Laser Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Training Record was not located at the time of inspection. This record must be located in the laser use area and be readily available for inspection.

3.4 The Laser SOP Training Record was not up to date. All LOs must complete and document the Laser SOP training prior to operating a laser or laser system (Class 3R, 3B or 4). When LOs will no longer operate the laser or laser system do not delete them by defacing the record. Indicate the date laser operations ceased.

3.5 The LPI (ALPI) did not sign the Laser SOP Training Record. The LPI (ALPI) is responsible for conducting and documenting laser specific training of LOs. The training record must be signed by LPI (ALPI) to document that they have provided the required training.

 

4.0 Laser Registration

4.1 The laser or laser system was not registered with the LSO. Each Class 3R, 3B and 4 laser or laser system (including embedded lasers) must be registered with the LSO. The registration form is available in the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) office and may be obtained from the EH&S website.

 

5.0 Engineering Controls

5.1 The protective housing interlock was defeated or overridden without an LSO approved SOP. Protective housing interlocks must not be defeated or overridden unless the requirements of an LSO approved SOP are met.

5.2 Warning label is not present for the protective housing interlock. If the interlock can be bypassed or defeated, an appropriate warning label must be located on the protective housing.

5.3 A remote interlock connector was not in place. For Class 4 lasers and laser systems, a remote interlock connector must facilitate an emergency master disconnect.

5.4 The beam path is not located at a safe level. The laser beam height should be maintained at the appropriate height that is not at eye level for sitting or standing persons.

5.5 Appropriate beam stops or attenuators were not in place. When required by the Laser SOP, Class 4 lasers or laser systems must have permanently attached beam stops or attenuators.

5.6 The activation warning system is not working. A visible and/or audible activation warning system must be present for Class 4 lasers or laser systems.

5.7 A master switch was not present on a Class 3B or 4 laser or laser system. A master switch which will terminate the beam must be included on a Class 3B or 4 laser or laser system. It may be operated by a key or coded access.

 

6.0 Administrative and Procedural Controls

6.1 An individual other than an approved LPI, ALPI or LO was determined to be operating the laser or laser system. All persons operating a laser or laser system must complete and document the proper level of training.

6.2 Visitors and spectators to laser operations were not properly supervised. The laser SOP must address visitor access to laser radiation. LPIs are responsible for informing visitors of the degree of hazard, avoidance procedures, NHZ information and PPE requirements. Visitors must be directly supervised by a LPI, ALPI or LO when they are in the LCA.

6.3 A specific Laser Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was not in place. An LSO approved SOP must be in place for each Class 3R, 3B and 4 (including embedded) lasers or laser systems.

6.4 Laser or laser system operations were not in accordance with the appropriate Laser SOP. Laser and laser system operations must be in accordance with the specific laser SOP. Changes to laser SOPs must be approved by the LSO.

6.5 The laser or laser system SOP was not up to date. The laser specific SOP must accurately reflect the current laser operations and characteristics. Changes to laser SOPs must be approved by the LSO prior to implementation.

6.6 The Laser Control Area (LCA) was not properly posted. For Class 3R, 3B and 4 lasers and laser systems, an appropriate warning sign must be posted at the LCA. The laser specific SOP will specify the posting requirements.

6.7 The LSO was not notified of the laser or laser system maintenance or repair. Prior to performing maintenance or repairs on Class 3R, 3B and 4 (including embedded) lasers or laser systems, the LSO must be notified. The LSO will verify the safety training of the service personnel and ensure the appropriate postings and control measures are in place.

6.8 Laser beam alignment procedures were not followed. When performing beam alignment for Class 3B and 4 lasers, the control measures outlined in the specific laser SOP must be followed.

6.9 The laser beam was directed at windows, across corridors or at LCA entry points. The laser beam must be oriented such that it is not directed at windows, across corridors or at LCA entry points.

6.10 There were reflective items or surfaces within the beam path and/or in the LCA. The amount of reflective surfaces (i.e., jewelry, metal, sharps, mirrors) inside a LCA must be kept to a minimum. This decreases the chances of unwanted specular and diffuse reflections.

6.11 A fiber optic connector which would allow access to Class 3B or 4 laser radiation was not tagged appropriately. For fiber optic laser systems where laser power termination is not possible, a label or tag bearing the words "Hazardous Laser Radiation When Disconnected" must be attached to the fiber optic connector.

 

7.0 Personnel Protective Equipment

7.1 Laser protective eyewear was not being used by Laser Operators or individuals within the LCA. When required by the specific laser SOP, laser protective eyewear must be worn by laser operators and individuals present in the LCA. The eyewear may be required for routine use and/or beam alignment.

7.2 The laser protective eyewear in use was not the correct Optical Density (OD). The laser specific SOP designates the proper OD protective eyewear which must be worn. The OD must be correct for the specific laser beam wavelength and be marked on the eyewear.

7.3 The laser protective eyewear was not in good physical condition. Laser protective eyewear must be kept in good condition. Examples of poor condition include loose or stretched straps, scratched lenses, unclear OD markings or inadequate frame integrity.

7.4 Ultraviolet (UV) laser personnel protection was not adequate. When required by the specific laser SOP, clothing (sleeves or gloves) or beam shields may be required to protect the skin from UV exposure.

7.5 LCA windows (exterior/interior) were inadequate. Windows within a LCA must be able to reduce the laser radiation to levels below the applicable MPE.

7.6 Laser protective barriers or curtains were inadequate. Laser barriers or curtains used to prevent laser radiation exceeding the MPE from exiting the LCA must be appropriately rated. They must also be properly placed and in good condition.

 

8.0 Non-Beam Hazards

8.1 Electrical hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for electrical hazards which must be implemented. Electrical hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.2 Collateral and/or plasma radiation hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for collateral and/or plasma radiation hazards which must be implemented. Collateral and/or plasma radiation hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.3 Fire and/or explosion hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for fire and/or explosion hazards which must be implemented. Fire and/or explosion hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.4 Noise hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for noise hazards which must be implemented. Noise hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.5 Glass particle and/or nanoparticle hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for glass particle and/or nanoparticle hazards which must be implemented. Glass particle and/or nanoparticle hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.6 Compressed gas hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for compressed gas hazards, which must be implemented. Compressed gas hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.7 Laser dye and/or solvent hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for laser dye and/or solvent hazards, which must be implemented. Laser dye and/or solvent hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.8 Biological agent hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for biological agent hazards, which must be implemented. Biological agent hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

8.9 Human factor hazard control measures were not properly implemented. The laser specific SOP may list control measures for human factor hazards, which must be implemented. Human factor hazards identified during the laser safety inspection must be addressed, and the appropriate control measures should be incorporated into the laser specific SOP.

 

9.0 Emergency Response

9.1 The Laser Injury Information packet was not available. For use in case of an eye injury resulting from laser radiation, a Laser Injury Information packet must be available. This packet is located inside the binder holding the Laser Standard Operating Procedure.

 

Glossary of Acronyms

 

ALPI - Assistant Laser Principal Investigator

ALSO - Assistant Laser Safety Officer

BLS - Basic Laser Safety Training

EHSA - Environmental Health and Safety Assistant database

GU - Georgetown University

LCA - Laser Controlled Area

LO - Laser Operator

LPI - Laser Principal Investigator

LSO - Laser Safety Officer

LSS - Laser Safety Staff

MPE - Maximum Permissible Exposure

NHZ - Nominal Hazard Zone

OD - Optical Density

PPE - Personnel Protective Equipment

SOP - Laser Standard Operating Procedure

UV - Ultraviolet