BLS News & Review
Volume 4, Number 2
In This Issue
– Executive Director’s Message
Board of Laser Safety
Follow the BLS:
Last fall I was contacted by CMLSO Wolfgang Wöllmer and asked to contribute to a special laser safety issue of Medical Laser Application, the official journal of the German Society for Laser Medicine. Following discussions at ILSC 2009 (and since) to further awareness of the BLS certification program, I was pleased to accept his offer.
Ben Edwards, BLS Board of Commissioners’ Chair took the lead on writing our article, “Overview of the Board of Laser Safety’s professional certification programs for Laser Safety Officers.” This article provides an excellent overview of what the BLS is, why the BLS is, and why to become BLS certified. Excerpted from the article:
The complexity of the hazards associated with many laser systems, and the unique skill set needed to effectively evaluate and implement control measures for those hazards, have created the need for organizations to clearly identify those individuals with the proficiency necessary to manage such advanced laser safety issues. To meet this need, the Board of Laser Safety (BLS) was established as a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Laser Institute of America to develop and sustain a program for safety professionals to establish and maintain recognizable competence and expertise in the area of laser safety.
Certified individuals gain a competitive advantage for hiring and career advancement, recognition of their professionalism and dedication, an objective measure of individual mastery of a highly technical subject, a community of colleagues with similar professional interests, and the enhanced credibility of their laser safety recommendations. Institutions employing or using the services of CLSOs and CMLSOs can thereby demonstrate due diligence and expertise on staff, help ensure the legitimacy and adequacy of their laser safety programs, show an organizational commitment to laser safety, etc. Society gains more competent laser safety experts…Finally, the growing number of certified individuals inevitably increases the pool of talented and knowledgeable people who can help advance the field of laser safety.
Dr. Wöllmer has kindly provided the Editor’s Message1 from this issue of Medical Laser Application. For those of you with access to MLA, I strongly recommend review of this special laser safety issue.
As always, feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 407-380-5833.
Sign up today for the 6th Annual Laser Safety Officers Workshop, July 27-29, 2010 hosted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.
The Workshop features presentations on topics not found in standard laser safety training and solutions to real-world laser safety issues by experts in the field. The program consists mainly of invited presentations by prominent experts. This year Charles Townes, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his seminal work in masers and lasers, is scheduled to open the event.
Mini-workshops (breakout sessions) will be held on July 27th and 28th during the lunch breaks to demonstrate the pros and cons of the major commercial laser safety calculation software systems available on the market. In addition, the BLS will host a mini-workshop “Q&A” session to answer questions on certification and allow the opportunity to network with the CLSOs and CMLSOs in attendance.
Please join us at this one-of-a-kind workshop. Visit the LBNL website,
This event has been approved by the BLS for 2.5 CM points.
The Health Physics Society and Campus Radiation Safety Officers (CRSO) invite members of the Society and CRSO organization, other scientists, and students to participate in the 55th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society and the 22nd Biennial CRSO meeting to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 27 – July 1, 2010.
On Monday, June 28th a Special Session has been organized by the Board of Laser Safety. Chaired by CLSOs Myungchul Jo and Dewey Sprague, this session will address areas of responsibility where the health physicist, radiation safety officer, and laser safety officer may intersect. The session will close with a presentation of the Board of Laser Safety’s CLSO program.
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2011 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC), March 14-17, 2011 in San Jose, Calif. At this comprehensive four-day conference that covers all aspects of laser safety practice and hazard control, the scientific sessions that are the foundation of ILSC (hence previously referred to as “ILSC”) will now be termed Laser Safety Scientific Sessions (LSSS). These sessions will address developments in regulatory, mandatory and voluntary safety guidelines for laser products and for laser use. Laser safety experts from all over the world will meet and discuss their research, programs and standards.
The Practical Applications Seminars (PAS) complement the scientific sessions by exploring everyday scenarios that the LSO and MLSO may encounter. New for 2011, PAS will be increased to four days, expanded to include the medical community. These seminars will be termed Medical Practical Applications Seminar and Technical Practical Applications Seminar.
The Medical PAS will be led by Vangie Dennis (right), RN, CNOR, CMLSO from Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth, GA. This seminar will be particularly useful for MLSOs who work in operating rooms, surgical centers, aesthetic clinics and medical spas. Participants will benefit from the cutting-edge medical laser safety presentations that will be showcased.
The Technical PAS will be led by Sheldon Zimmerman (left), CLSO from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA. This seminar will continue to provide valuable practical information to those who are concerned with the more common safety issues of day-to-day operations in commercial, factory, and research settings.
Abstracts for LSSS can now be submitted through the ILSC website at www.lia.org/ilsc. The abstract submittal deadline is August 15, 2010. Sessions under consideration include safety standards, laser safety training, laser eye protection, high power issues, bioeffects, and hazard and risk assessment. Suggestions for the Medical or Technical Practical Application Seminars can be submitted though the abstract submittal system as well, please notate the appropriate seminar. Earn .5 CM point for each presentation made, in addition to CM points earned for conference attendance.
The BLS is proud to be a cooperating society of ILSC 2011. As such, all active status CLSOs and CMLSOs will receive LIA membership pricing on program registration.
Congratulations to Standards Subcommittee 4 (SSC-4) for its completion of ANSI Z136.4-2010 American National Standard Recommended Practice for Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation. The document received ANSI approval on April 22, 2010.
From the 2010 ANSI Essential Requirements:
The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is pleased to announce the release of the newly revised ANSI Z136.4-2010 American National Standard Recommended Practice for Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation. This recommended practice provides guidance for optical measurements associated with laser safety requirements. The information contained in this document is intended to assist users who are entrusted with the responsibility of conducting laser hazard evaluations to ensure that appropriate control measures are implemented.
The most significant changes to the document were made to harmonize with the ANSI Z136.1 – 2007. A number of definitions were added, while others were clarified. Another notable change is the addition of section 5.10 on M-squared. M2, also called beam quality, beam propagation ratio or times diffraction limit number, is an indication of how close the energy distribution in a laser beam is to that of a perfect Gaussian beam.
The ANSI Z136.4-2010 is available for purchase from the
The LIA is proud to announce the availability of a new medical laser safety CD-ROM titled FOCAL POINTS: Interactive Training for Medical Laser Safety. This interactive training course is dedicated to the safe use of lasers in health care facilities. Based on the ANSI Z136.3 standard, FOCAL POINTS is an excellent training tool for laser safety officers and other health care professionals who have the responsibility of training new employees and keeping existing personnel updated on current safety issues and practices.
This CD-ROM offers six chapters of laser safety training information for use in health care facilities. Each chapter features user-friendly interactive text, a video component to summarize and illustrate the information, and a short quiz. Users will also benefit from an exam testing the most critical concepts in the chapters, as well as a glossary of terms. The information is presented in clear, easy-to-understand language and users will find it simple to navigate between the various components of the application.
The FOCAL POINTS: Interactive Training for Medical Laser Safety CD-ROM is available for purchase by calling the LIA office at 1-800-34-LASER or through LIA’s online store at http://www.lia.org/store/TRAIN/318.
The BLS would like to take this opportunity to thank CMLSOs Fabienne Cloutier, Vangie Dennis and Sue Terry for their contributions to the development of FOCAL POINTS .
ASC Z136 Petition for Membership
Join the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z136 for the Safe Use of Lasers!
There are two ways in which you can participate in the development and revision processes of the Z136 laser safety standards: membership in one (or more) standards or technical subcommittees and/or membership on the ASC Z136 consensus body.
Membership on the consensus body, referred to as the “Committee”, consists of organizations, companies, government agencies and individuals and is open to anyone with a direct and material interest in its activities. To join the Committee, request membership by contacting the Secretariat (LIA); let us know your qualifications and willingness to participate actively.
The vast majority of members on the Committee belong to one or more of the standards and/or technical subcommittees. It is here at the subcommittee level that primary development, and later maintenance of the standards actually takes place. Submit requests for subcommittee membership directly through the Z136 website, www.z136.org. Please apply by completing the application form and checking the subcommittees in which you have an interest.
Contact Barbara Sams at the LIA, 407-380-1553, for more information. Remember, active membership in laser safety standards or regulations committees external of your organization earns 1 CM point per year.
Purchase your BLS polo at show prices now, so you can wear it and be readily identified at the LSO Workshop! Join us for lunch — Network at the BLS Q&A mini-workshop — Share your experiences as a CLSO/CMLSO with those interested in certification.
As promised, article titles and access information for appropriate journal articles that can be reviewed for CM points will be delivered via this newsletter. Coming full circle from the Executive Director’s Message: