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Regulatory Framework

The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010. AOR2010 covers the exposure of workers to artificial optical radiation, this includes lasers. The regulations set out the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to risks arising from artificial optical radiation.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  These regulations requires that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in carried out for all significant hazards in the workplace and that controls are put in place to reduce risk as far as reasonably practicable.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Some aspects of laser work (e.g. hazardous laser media, hazardous material generated by laser application) may come under the COSHH regulations in terms of need for a risk assessment.

In addition to the Regulatory requirements there is a range of laser safety standards. These all originate from the basic laser safety standard, IEC 60825-1:2014


The table below summarises the IEC 60825 range of laser safety standards


BS EN Standard Number (except where indicated) Brief Description
60825-1:2014 Safety of Laser Products - Part 1: Equipment classification, requirements and user guide.
60825-2:2004 + A2:2010 Safety of Laser Products - Part 2: Safety of optical fibre communication systems (OFCS).
IEC 60825-3:2008 Safety of Laser Products - Part 3: Guidance for laser displays and shows.
60825-4:2006 Safety of Laser Products - Part 4: Laser guards.
60825-5:2003 Safety of Laser Products - Part 5: Manufacturer's checklist for IEC 60825-1.
60825-8:2006 Safety of Laser Products - Part 8: Guidelines for the safe use of medical laser equipment.
60825-12:2019 Safety of Laser Products - Part 12: Safety of free space optical communication systems used for transmission of information.
60825-13:2011 Safety of Laser Products - Part 13: Measurements for classification of laser products.
PD IEC TR 60825-14:2004 Safety of Laser Products - Part 14: A user's guide.
60825-15:2015 Guidance to IEC Technical Committees for product manufacturing requirements for non-laser optical radiation safety.
60825-17:2015 Safety of laser products - Part 17: Safety aspects for use of passive optical components and optical cables in high power optical fibre communication systems
Safety of laser products - part 13: Measurements for classification of laser products


For laser eyewear safety protection there are two applicable standards:

BS EN 207:1999 Specification for filters and equipment used for personal eye-protection against laser radiation.

BS EN 208:1999 Specification for personal eye protectors used for adjustment work on lasers and laser systems.