Electrocution is most likely to occur when the protective covers are removed or interlocks are defeated to allow access to active components during installation, maintenance, modification, or service of lasers or laser systems.
- Check for potential electrical problems during laser facility audits:
- Make sure laser systems are installed according to manufacturer specifications, or as required on the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70E).
- Check for uncovered or improperly insulated electrical terminals.
- Be alert for hidden "power-up" warning lights.
- Properly discharge and ground capacitors.
- Ensure that all energy sources are disengaged or blocked and that electrical sources are de-energized and locked in the "off" position during work or repair. UCSD offers Lockout/ Blockout Training for employees.
- Guard against excessive wires and cables on the floor creating fall or slip hazards.
- Know where the closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is located and how to use it.
- Make sure personnel receive training about electrical hazards.
- Require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for service personnel, researchers, and their assistants. UCSD offers Emergency Medical Training.
- Encourage periodic refresher courses.
- Require at least 2 trained employees be present when work involves high voltage laser power supplies.
Recognize the fire hazard from Class 4 laser beams.
- Use flame resistant materials when:
- Irradiances exceed 10 Watts cm-2
- Beam powers exceed 0.5 Watts
- Ensure personnel know what to do in case of fire.
Prevent injury from explosion to the equipment operator and observers.
- Enclose high-pressure arc lamps, filament lamps, and capacitor banks in a housing that can withstand the maximum explosive pressure.
- Enclose or equivalently protect the laser target and elements of the optical train which may shatter during laser operation.
- Be aware of the possibility of explosive reactions from chemical laser reactants.
Potentially hazardous fumes and vapors may be produced by laser welding, cutting, and other laser-target interactions.
- Reduce or eliminate exposure to potentially hazardous fumes and vapors to levels below those used for non-laser conventional cutting (such as flame cutting and welding of the same material).
- Install adequate local exhaust ventilation.
- Learn how to access UCSD's Respiratory Protection Program if a respirator may be required to protect employee health.
Enroll employees who are routinely exposed to high levels of workplace noise in UCSD's Hearing Conservation Program