WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed an alliance with the Laser Institute of America to help protect workers from exposure to beam and non-beam laser hazards in industrial, construction, medical and research workplaces.
“Workers unprotected from laser exposure can suffer serious eye and skin injuries including permanent blindness and tissue damage,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We will continue to work together to produce valuable safety and health information and training to protect workers using laser technology.”
During the five-year alliance, participants will provide annual training on the Best Practices Seminar on Laser Safety and develop a Webinar training program based on the seminar, and distribute laser safety guidance products at safety conferences and exhibits. OSHA and LIA previously developed fact sheets on the effects of lasers on the eye and skin, hazards associated with using high-power welders and cutters, and materials for use during hazard analysis of workplaces with lasers. The alliance also developed a guidance document outlining 10 steps necessary to begin a laser safety program in the health industry, and conducted 18 Laser Safety Best Practices seminars that trained more than 500 OSHA compliance personnel on what to look for and ask when entering facilities that use lasers.
LIA, founded in 1968, is a professional society for laser applications and safety that provides information to industrial, medical, research and government communities. The organization includes more than 1,600 corporate and individual members.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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