Laser Safety Labels and Signage 101

Laser Safety Labels and Signage 101

Whether you’re using powerful lasers in your day-to-day operations or manufacturing devices that use laser technology, you need to be well versed in laser safety label and signage requirements in order to keep your team and customers safe.

Who regulates laser safety labels?

In addition to traditional ANSI safety label guidelines, two bodies create laser safety label standards. Domestic standards for the U.S. are created by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

International standards are created by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

What are the CDRH laser safety label regulations?

CDRH compliance varies by the type of laser, particularly its class and how a device uses the laser.

The class dictates the information required on the label, including radiation output, wavelength data, and more. For some classes of laser, a separate label is required to be placed near the laser’s aperture.

In addition, the CDHR has an extensive certification process for all lasers being sold domestically, including those that are imported.

ANSI guidelines apply to CDRH labels except for one key area: the symbol. The CDRH still maintains a laser symbol developed in 1941. While this symbol is not in line with modern ANSI symbols, it must be used to meet CDRH compliance.

What are the IEC laser safety label regulations?

The IEC has both standards for the look of and content of laser safety labels. Like CDRH requirements, laser class determines most of the content of the label, and some classes also require a separate label to be placed near the aperture. It also dictates where the label should be placed on the product.

One area where IEC label regulations differ is radiation output; manufacturers are given the flexibility to include it on the main label or use a secondary explanatory label. The IEC also requires information regarding what standard the label is following and the date that standard was published. This can be included on existing explanatory labels or another separate label placed in the same vicinity.

In 2014 the IEC developed a new label style that is available as an alternative to its longstanding traditional label. This new version’s look is more in line with traditional ANSI labels and signage in a move toward modernization. The older style, however, may still be used.

When should I use laser safety signage?

Laser safety signage is common in manufacturing, hospital and healthcare environments, military facilities, and more. Guidelines around when safety signage is required are mostly determined by the laser class and the maximum permissible exposure, or MPE, of a laser. This rating determines the maximum amount of exposure an individual can receive before risking ill effects.

Where should laser safety signage be placed?

If you use lasers in your operations, signage needs to be placed on all entryways to rooms where lasers are used. As with any safety signage, appropriate placement is critical. Make sure signs are:

  • Easily visible and clear in a well-lit spot
  • At an appropriate distance and height
  • In a location where carts, shelving, boxes, or other items cannot easily block it off
  • Follow ANSI standards

In addition, it’s important to make sure your labels are durable. DuraMark’s industrial laser safety labels are designed to last three times longer than other competitor’s vinyl labels and are tested to endure extreme conditions. Our unique materials are UV resistant, can withstand heat up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit and cold temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, maintain exceptional clarity, and stay put with permanent adhesion.

Where can I purchase laser safety labels?

Whether you’re looking for standard laser safety labels or a robust custom labels solution for your brand, finding the right supplier for your business is crucial.

DuraMark is dedicated to delivering the best service possible to our customers, including fast turnaround and only the highest quality product.

Shop our selection of laser safety products, or reach out to our team to learn how DuraMark can help support your branding and labeling needs.

Sep 20, 2022

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