The general rules below are to be followed by all personnel, visitors, and spectators to ensure maximum safety.
- The minimum laser radiant energy or laser power level required for the application should always be used.
- Emergency response procedures must be in plain view in all laser facilities.
- All facilities must have an openly available set of operating procedures (SOPs) for each individual laser.
- A qualified technician must perform servicing for a laser or laser system.
- Lasers are to be operated in well-lighted areas, if at all possible, to minimize possible eye damage.
- Flash lamps used with solid state lasers should be shielded.
- Never leave an operating laser unattended and never work alone in the facility while operating a laser, especially after normal working hours.
To minimize direct eye exposure observe these precautions:
- Do not intentionally look directly into laser beam or at specular reflection, regardless of its power.
- Minimize specular reflection.
- Terminate beam at end of its useful path.
- Clearly identify the beam path(s) and ensure that they do not cross populated areas or traffic paths.
- Locate the beam path at a point other than eye level when standing or when sitting at a desk.
- Orient the laser so that the beam is not directed toward entry doors or aisles.
- Securely mount laser systems on a stable platform to maintain the beam in a fixed position during operation and limit beam traverse during adjustments and alignments.
- Jewelry must not be worn in a controlled laser area.
- Visual alignment of laser systems while the laser is operating should not be attempted. If possible, lasers should be powered down during alignment.