When it comes to development of products with an integrated laser or photonic technology (including fiber optics), it pays to be aware of product safety regulatory and compliance requirements from an early stage.

Lasers and other photonics technologies create unique risks due to their highly concentrated light. Therefore, regulations exist at various levels:

  • Local (U.S.) – Rare
  • State (U.S.) – Typically defer to either federal code (21CFR1040) or OSHA/ANSI (Z136)
  • National (U.S.) – Federal Code of Regulations (21CFR1040)
  • International – EN60825 (EU) & IEC 60825

Proper risk engineering practices must be employed to ensure the highest product safety and lowest liability.

Ergonomics has a growing place in design for operations to ensure:

  • Appropriate usability of product, and;
  • Operation of product does not violate safety performance standards

Operator/operations feedback in design is more advanced than mere focus groups or limited customer studies.

Putting prototypical hardware in the hands of operators and operations personnel and managing the feedback that results from use is the most effective method by which to design.

This post was contributed by MET Labs partner The Photonics Group.

Read more about safety for products employing laser devices and LEDs.

For more information, attend a Laser Product Safety Compliance webinar on January 24, 2012.  This free webinar will cover the specific standards and regulations in effect as they apply to photonics, and touch on related applicability with respect to product design, risk, and management.

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