When you purchase a laser cleaning solution from Adapt Laser, you’re required to appoint a laser safety officer. This person is responsible for ensuring that training occurs and that all safety regulations are met. One such standard is a yearly review required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During this review, they’ll monitor how well your team knows and implements safety best practices and how safe the environment is for operators and other employees, among other considerations. So, to ensure your team passes the yearly review, what should you be doing to prepare?
5 Tips for Meeting OSHA Requirements for Laser Cleaners
1. REVIEW LASER SAFETY BEST PRACTICES
Best practices aren’t just for making it easier to operate your laser cleaning solution. They’re also put in place to ensure your employees can perform their tasks safely and effectively. When you purchase a laser cleaning solution, your team receives training for how to operate the laser system — from the particular angles to the speed at which you should clean. This training also includes determining what is needed to keep your employees safe, such as:
- Wearing laser protective eyeglasses
- Setting up an optical hazardous zone enclosure
- Including interlocking mechanisms to prevent entry during operations
- Putting up signs describing the risks
Your laser safety officer should review these best practices with your operators and other employees to ensure that best practices are still top of mind and so everyone knows what to expect when a laser is in use. This mitigates any risk and will satisfy some of the OSHA requirements.
2. INSPECT YOUR DESIGNATED OPTIC HAZARD ZONE
Your designated optical hazard zone is the space where you will be operating the laser. While some lasers include an enclosure, most laser solutions need a designated space where the system can operate without putting any passerby at risk. These designated optical hazard zones should include signs that describe the risks of the laser solution and feature interlocking mechanisms that prevent entry when the laser is in use. A well-designed optical hazard zone will prevent the laser from operating when doors are open or when parts are missing.
Your laser safety officer should inspect your enclosure to ensure that specular and diffuse reflections won’t impact a passerby or operators. They should also test the interlocking mechanisms to ensure they are not cracked or damaged. If a designated optic hazard zone needs to be moved, your laser safety officer needs to oversee that the new location is safe and won’t pose a risk to operators or employees — including safely testing the space once it has been set up.
3. CHECK YOUR LASER CLEANING SYSTEM
Over time, your laser system may experience normal wear and tear. In some cases, this can result in cracked or damaged parts — including fibers, protection windows, and more. Your laser safety officer should regularly check your laser system to ensure there are no error messages or issues with the system. This includes conducting normal upkeep, such as replacing filters and checking that hoses aren’t becoming bent or stretched during use.
Each part of your laser cleaning system requires different maintenance. By regularly checking and replacing parts as needed, you can keep your system finely tuned and ready for inspection. Not only will this satisfy OSHA requirements, but it can prevent costly downtime and repairs.
4. RENEW LASER SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS
Your laser safety officer must be certified and acknowledged by the Board of Laser Safety. The Laser Institute of America offers LSO certification courses that meet all training requirements outlined by ANSI and OSHA. To ensure your laser safety officer is kept informed of new developments in the laser cleaning industry, their certification must be renewed every three years.
During those three years, you can either renew by incurring points or re-taking a certification course. The Board of Laser Safety outlines how you can gain points and details of what to do if you don’t have enough points or miss the deadline for submitting your points. In addition, we offer support packages to assist your LSO during their renewal process. Members of our leadership team are also members of the Laser Institute of America and can provide assistance for renewals. Contact our sales team to learn more.
5. CONDUCT A MOCK INSPECTION
The best way to determine if your team will meet OSHA safety requirements is by conducting a mock inspection. With more than 20 years in the laser cleaning industry, we know what is required to ensure employee safety and pass the inspection. We can assist with training and conduct a mock inspection to review where your team is at and what improvements will need to be made before the test. We’ll generate a report of our findings so that it’s easy for your laser safety officer to make adjustments and prepare for the OSHA inspection.
WHATEVER YOUR NEEDS, ADAPT LASER HAS A SOLUTION FOR IT
Adapt Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions. We offer products with a range between 20 and 2,000 watts and provide training to ensure your employees can get the most from their laser cleaning solutions. We’ve equipped a variety of industries and companies with laser cleaning solutions — including military and defense for the US Air Force and Navy — and hundreds of organizations trust our state-of-the-art laser cleaning solutions.