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ANSI Standard 136.1: Audit Guide for Safe Use of Lasers
The American National Standard for Safe Use of LasersĀ (ANSI Z136.1 2007) provides guidance for the safe use of lasers and laser systems that operate at wavelengths between 0.18 m and 1 mm. Its objective is to ensure that this guidance is reasonable and adequate by classifying lasers according to their relative hazards, and then specifying appropriate control measures for each hazard classification. Hazard classification is based on the ability of the laser beam to cause biological damage to the eye or skin during use.

Detailed technical information related to the measurements and calculations used to determine equipment hazard classification and the biological effects of laser use are included in the ANSI Standard and its appendices and are not reproduced in this Guide due to copyright restrictions. The rulebooks do provide cross-references to this detailed information as it appears in the ANSI Z136.1 2007 Standard. When preparing this Guide, the authors have assumed that once a laser or laser system is classified into the appropriate hazard category, the operator does not need to complete any further measurements or calculations related to hazard classification in order to meet the provisions of this ANSI Standard.

ANSI Standards differentiate between requirements and recommendations in two ways. First, various sections of the Standard are designated as normative, meaning that they are considered integral parts of the standard. The second designation is non-normative, which refers to requirements that are provided for information purposes only. Non-normative sections include such things as forewords and certain appendices. In addition, the guidelines use the term \shall\ for requirements and \should\ for recommendations. The terms \shall\ and \should\ are used in the same manner in this Guide.

The OSHA standard under 29 CFR 1926.54 for non-ionizing radiation applies to lasers used in construction operations and in the power generation, transmission, and distribution installations of electric utilities, as well as equivalent installations of industrial establishments. In general, the ANSI Z136.1 2007 standard is much more detailed than the OSHA standard, and compliance with the ANSI guidelines will also ensure compliance with OSHA requirements. However, employers who use lasers in these facility-types should also refer to 29 CFR 1926.54.

ANSI Standard 136.1: Audit Guide for Safe Use of Lasers is complemented by OSHA Auditing: Federal Compliance Guide-Construction: The Complete Safety and Health Audit Checklist.

See Benefits, Topic Areas, Features and Other Formats.


Related Publications
Topic Area
  • Control measures administrative and procedural controls
  • Control measures controlled areas
  • Control measures engineering controls
  • Control measures general
  • Control measures protective equipment
  • Control measures special considerations
  • Control measures warning signs and activation warnings
  • Criteria for exposures of eye and skin
  • Education and training
  • Hazard evaluation and classification
  • Laser safety programs
  • Medical examinations
  • Non-beam hazards


Introduction Provides an overview of the ANSI Standard and its contents
Pre-Audit Preparation Provides suggestions to the auditor for material that should be gathered and reviewed in advance of an onsite inspection. Also ncludes suggestions for organizational materials the auditor may find helpful to have available for review while on site. This part also contains a list of acronyms and abbreviations used in the module.
Rulebook Checklist Summarizes each regulatory requirement and presents detailed guide notes that the auditor can use to determine all aspects of compliance or non-compliance for each specific topic
Scoresheet Allows quick recording of the facility's compliance status requirement as \complies,\ \Does not comply,\ or \not applicable.\