If there was ever a theme to a newsletter, then this one is “ILSC.” As we near the end of February, we are consumed with the 2017 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) and all activities associated with it. Taking place at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport, March 20-23, ILSC is The World’s Leading Conference on Laser Safety.
The Opening Plenary kicks off the conference with a presentation from Professor Jacques Abramowicz, a member of a Core Group established by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a look at "Non-ionizing Radiation: Lack of International Basic Safety Standards." The second speaker will be Dr. Jeffrey Luttrull, who will tell us how shining laser beams into the eye may actually save peoples’ vision, rather than destroying it, in his presentation, "The Difference Safety Makes: Laser is the Future of Blindness Prevention."
Laser Safety Scientific Sessions (LSSS), chaired this year by Dr. Karl Schulmeister, provide the platform for an outstanding assortment of presentations across all fields of laser safety, while concurrent Medical Practical Applications Seminars (MPAS) on Monday and Tuesday, and Technical Practical Applications Seminars (TPAS) on Wednesday and Thursday explore the everyday scenarios the LSO and MLSO may encounter. For more information, the Advance Program is now available for download from the ILSC conference page.
If this is not enough to convince you to attend, a short list of other activities includes:
ASC Z136 Annual meeting (Sunday), and numerous ancillary meetings throughout the week
Launch of the revised CLSO exam, now compliant to ANSI Z136.1-2014
BLS CLSO & CMLSO Appreciation Reception
Join me at ILSC in Atlanta – I look forward to seeing you there!
Executive Director Board of Laser Safety
In Safety News
In our last issue, we told you the annual meeting of ASC Z136 would take place on Sunday, March 19, the day before ILSC commences. Since that time, a number of ancillary meetings have been scheduled
It is not mandatory to attend ILSC in order to attend an ancillary meeting.
It is advisable to stay at the conference hotel (Sheraton Atlanta Airport) for ease of meeting navigation, not to mention networking. While the hotel reservation deadline has passed, the link is still accessible through the conference website, hotel information page.
If you would like to attend the annual meeting as an observer, please RSVP to Barbara to ensure space and meal availability.
BLS Events at ILSC
CLSO Exam Revision Launch – We are pleased to announce the revision of our certified laser safety officer (CLSO) exam, now compliant with the ANSI Z136.1 Safe Use of Lasers standard, 2014 edition. Our first offering of this exam version will be on Sunday, March 19, just before the start of ILSC.
Our panel of subject matter experts (SMEs), led by Ben Edwards, reviewed over 180 questions from our nine areas of practice. Rewriting and restructuring many of these for clarity and conciseness, candidates should be able to better focus on the content of the question rather than how it is worded.
The nine areas of practice remain lasers and optics fundamentals, laser/optical radiation bioeffects, non-beam hazards, laser control measures, regulations and standards, hazard evaluation and classification, MPEs, laser safety program administration, and laser measurements.
If you are interested in sitting for the exam, please contact the BLS.
Appreciation Reception – Join us on Monday evening, March 20, immediately following the day’s sessions for the BLS CLSO & CMLSO Appreciation Reception. Recognizing all CLSOs and CMLSOs in attendance, those who have maintained certification ten or more years will be presented with a commemorative 10-year pin.
Realizing that participation for many of our CLSOs and CMLSOs is contingent on having support from their employer; the BLS has established an award to recognize the certified laser safety officer’s institution, company or organization. Celebrate with us the inaugural presentation of this award to Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Interested in certification? You are welcome to attend and network with our CLSOs and CMLSOs. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Anniversary BLS! August 12 will be the 15-year anniversary of the first CLSO exam. Help us celebrate by submitting photos and testimonials of your experiences since becoming certified for posting on the website and through social media. Contact us at email@example.com.
US Department of Labor issues final rule to lower beryllium levels, increase workplace protections to reduce health risks
WASHINGTON – A new rule issued today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration dramatically lowers workplace exposure to beryllium, a strategically important material that can cause devastating lung diseases. The new beryllium standards for general industry, construction and shipyards will require employers to take additional, practical measures to protect an estimated 62,000 workers from these serious risks.
Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in the aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical and defense industries. However, it is highly toxic when beryllium-containing materials are processed in a way that releases airborne beryllium dust, fume, or mist into the workplace air that can be then inhaled by workers, potentially damaging their lungs.
Recent scientific evidence shows that low-level exposures to beryllium can cause serious lung disease. The new rule revises previous beryllium permissible exposure limits, which were based on decades-old studies.
“Outdated exposure limits do not adequately protect workers from beryllium exposure,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA’s new standard is based on a strong foundation of science and consensus on the need for action, including peer-reviewed scientific evidence, a model standard developed by industry and labor, current consensus standards and extensive public outreach. The new limits will reduce exposures and protect the lives and lungs of thousands of beryllium-exposed workers.”
The final rule will reduce the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from the previous level of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter. Above that level, employers must take steps to reduce the airborne concentration of beryllium. The rule requires additional protections, including personal protective equipment, medical exams, other medical surveillance and training, as well. It also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.
OSHA estimates that – once in full effect – the rule will annually save the lives of 94 workers from beryllium-related diseases and prevent 46 new cases of beryllium-related disease. Workers in foundry and smelting operations, fabricating, machining, grinding beryllium metal and alloys, beryllium oxide ceramics manufacturing and dental lab work represent the majority of those at risk.
Beryllium exposure is also a concern in other industries. Employees handling fly ash residue from the coal-burning process in coal-fired power plants risk beryllium exposure. In the construction and shipyard industries, abrasive blasters and their helpers may be exposed to beryllium from the use of slag blasting abrasives. Work done in these operations may cause high dust levels and significant beryllium exposures despite the low beryllium content.
To give employers sufficient time to meet the requirements and put proper protections in place, the rule provides staggered compliance dates. Once the rule is effective, employers have one year to implement most of the standard’s provisions. Employers must provide the required change rooms and showers beginning two years after the effective date. Employers are also required to implement the engineering controls beginning three years after the effective date of the standards.
The final rule is available today at the Federal Register here.
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 assure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
Featured CLSO: Jamie Gurney
Tell us about yourself
My name is Jamie Gurney and I live in Merritt Island, FL with my husband Jeff, where we have raised seven children together. I started my career in Health Physics at nuclear power plants as a Jr. Health Physics Technician. From 1990 -1992, I worked at the University of Florida in the Environmental Health and Safety Department as a Radiation Control Technician.
I received an Associates of Science degree in Radiation Protection Technology at Central Florida Community College in Ocala, FL in 1988. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration with Specialization in Management in 2001. I took my NRRPT in 2003 and CLSO in 2004.
Where do you work?
I am the Health Physicist for Integrated Mission Support Services at KSC. I have worked for the Environmental Health and Safety department there for 20 years, first as a Health Physics Specialist, then as a Health Physics Contractor/Consultant, and now as their Health Physicist.
I started working with lasers in 1997 when I came to KSC to work as a Health Physics Specialist. I had no real experience with lasers before that time. After a few years of working and getting my feet wet in laser safety hazard analysis, my boss suggested I take the CLSO exam. It was the best thing I could have done at the time for my career and has definitely opened doors to more career opportunities.
Currently I am not the LSO, as NASA has only one LSO, and I work for him as a contractor health physicist, offering my technical expertise and services in laser hazard evaluations among other health physics programs.
Has becoming certified helped your career?
Until I was introduced to lasers and laser safety at KSC, I had no idea of the diversity of laser applications. The most challenging ones are usually the lasers that are used in outdoor situations in a dynamic environment. I am very fortunate to have stumbled upon this aspect of health physics and have enjoyed working with people from all over the country and seeing the innovations in laser technology that have occurred over the last 20 years.
Featured CMLSO: John Hoopman
Tell us about yourself
John E. Hoopman, CMLSO – I am currently the Laser Safety Officer at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas. I received my Associate of Applied Science Degree in 1998 in Lasers and Geometrical Optics. I have been at UT Southwestern since graduation. I participated as a contributor on the first medical laser safety officer certification exam and was one of the original eight individuals to become a CMLSO.
How did you become LSO?
I started working with lasers immediately after graduation and helped operate a five hospital and multifaceted research program that included 120+ lasers at the time. Within 2 years, I was asked to take over the lead role of MLSO and since then, we have grown the program to over 320 lasers. Our program is responsible for over 30 peer-reviewed published papers on surgical and aesthetic laser procedures.
Do you like being a CMLSO?
The most joy of being the CMLSO at UT Southwestern comes from the working / collaborative relationship I have with our faculty and staff.
Has becoming certified helped you in your career?
Being certified has helped support my credentials. It lends credibility to our publications and presentations.
CLSO Patrick Parker
CLSO Jeffrey Reilly
CMLSO Yuliya Henes
CMLSO Steven Jackson
CMLSO John Ladner
CMLSO Christi McNure
CMLSO John Metyko
CMLSO Joseph Whisman
Save the Dates Refresher Training – Earn CM Points!
Vangie Dennis visits the LIA offices and stops to pose with the ANSI Z136.3. If you look closely enough, you will see our commemorative 10-year pin. Have you been certified that long? Receive your pin at ILSC!
Tools of the Trade
This promotional mailing was generated by the Board of Laser Safety (BLS). BLS is the professional society dedicated to providing a means for improvement in the practice of laser safety by providing opportunities for the education, assessment, and recognition of laser safety professionals. If you prefer not to receive industry related announcements from the Board of Laser Safety you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the BLS at 13501 Ingenuity Dr, Suite 128, Orlando, FL 32826. Tel: +1.407.985.3810 Fax: +1.407.380.5588 http://www.lasersafety.org.