Volume 11 – Issue 2


Volume 11 Issue 2
News & Review
Join us in welcoming our new CLSOs and CMLSOs…
Message from the Director

Before summer is upon us, let’s pause to reflect back on our time together in Atlanta at the 2017 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC), ANSI ASC Z136 annual and ancillary meetings, and BLS reception and Commissioners meeting. As most of you know, I am involved in each of these, making this an exceptionally busy and wonderfully fulfilling week for me.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our CLSOs and CMLSOs in attendance at ILSC. Without you, we would not have had the Medical or Technical Practical Applications Seminars.

  • Chairs: Kay Ball, Vangie Dennis, Patti Owens, Leslie Pollard, Eddie Ciprazo, Jamie King – what a phenomenal job you did to coordinate speakers!
  • Speakers: So many of you stepped up and shared your experiences! Our CMLSOs presented several papers pertaining to smoke hazards, as well as everyday concerns, new technologies, and innovative treatments. Our CLSOs packed years of practical laser safety programming and training into literally a day-and-a-half – overviews of lessons learned, refresher training, setting up a laser lab, automating your safety program – as was promised talks to fill your “LSO Tool Box!”

Thanks go out as well to those who chaired or presented during the concurrent Laser Safety Scientific Sessions. It should be no surprise that these folks also participate on ASC Z136 and its subcommittees – bioeffects, non-beam hazards, product safety, user controls and outdoor safety. For them, the week started early Sunday morning with the ASC Z136 annual meeting (more on that In Safety News).

The highlight for me was the CLSO & CMLSO Appreciation Reception. What a great honor to present the inaugural BLS Illumination Award! Equally as rewarding was handing out 10-year pins to those in attendance with ten or more years tenure. For those of you with that distinction who were not able to make ILSC, look for your pin to arrive this summer.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy our ILSC memories!


Barbara Sams
Executive Director
Board of Laser Safety

In Safety News
Annual Meeting Overview

On March 19, 2017, Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z136 held its annual meeting at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, GA. Just preceding the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC), this year’s meeting boasted the highest number of attendees in recollection, with 47 members and 22 observers participating.

Opening the meeting, Barbara Sams, LIA Director of Standards Development announced the appointment of Edward “Ted” Early as ASC Z136 Secretary, and the reappointments of Robert Thomas and Sheldon Zimmerman as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively. Following approval of the agenda and previous year’s minutes, Dr. Thomas presented the report of the Administrative Committee (ADCOM), which included the yearly activities of ASC Z136 consensus body balloting, announcement of subcommittee chairs and membership transitions.

Notable changes:

  • The addition of two new subcommittee chairs; Ted Early will be replacing Jeff Pfoutz as standards subcommittee 4 (SSC-4) chair and Jennifer Hunter will be replacing Bruce Stuck as technical subcommittee 1 (TSC-1) chair. SSC-4 is responsible for the maintenance and further development of the Z136.4 Recommended Practice for Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation, while TSC-1 is the technical subcommittee that addresses bioeffects and medical surveillance across all standards.
  • Patti Owens, formerly alternate representative for the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, stepped down to assume the primary representative role to the committee for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. Taking her place as alternate ASLMS representative, we welcome David McDaniel.
  • Vangie Dennis, former primary representative for AORN is now primary representative of new organizational member Emory Healthcare.
  • Joe Greco and Dan Palmerton, previously representing organizational members were approved as individual members, and join new individual member Daniel Seaman.
  • Finally, we welcome new organizational member Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center with Damien Luviano as its representative.

Also discussed during ADCOM reporting was the number of votes one member could hold, recognition and adoption of ANSI Code of Ethics, orderly meeting conduct and LIA business inquiries. Following the ADCOM portion of the meeting, an overview of each subcommittee’s activities was presented by its chair.

Following lunch, the committee heard from Mike Woods on the National Fire Protection Association’s 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, Article 330, Safety-related Work Practices: Lasers, revisited risk management, and discussed progress made with respect to last year’s addition of the Graphic Design Group. New Business explored expanding the standard’s table of contents listing level, whether control measures should appear in the horizontal Z136.1 or the vertical standards and concluded with some final committee housekeeping topics, e.g., maintaining one’s account, nominating individuals for LIA awards, and suggestions for upcoming meeting sites.

BLS Illumination Award
The new award recognizes an institution, company, or organization that directly employs a certified Laser Safety Officer & makes outstanding contributions to the laser safety community

The Board of Laser Safety (BLS) is proud to announce the first recipient of the BLS Illumination Award, Mount Sinai Health System. The award was presented at the BLS CLSO & CMLSO Appreciation Reception during the 2017 International Laser Safety Conference on March 20 at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, GA… [more]


Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Provisions call for employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they already record Why is OSHA issuing this rule? This simple change in OSHA’s rulemaking requirements will improve safety for workers across the country. One important reason stems from our understanding of human behavior and motivation. Behavioral economics tells us that making injury information publicly available will “nudge” employers to focus on safety. And, as we have seen in many examples, more attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well. Finally, this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses… [more]

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Featured CLSOs: Kristy and Merrick DeWitt
Tell us about yourself

We are the DeWitts, Kristy and Merrick

Kristy: I have a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Virginia, and a BS in Chemistry & Physics, with a minor Mathematics at Mary Washington College

Merrick: I have a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry as well from Wayne State University, and a BS in Chemistry, from Lawrence Technological University.

When did you start working with Lasers?

Kristy: I started working with lasers for research (presuming grocery store self-checkout kiosks and DVD players do not count) at the beginning of my graduate career at University of Virginia (UVA). Between my graduate work, post-doc at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), and first job in a small laser-development company I have hands-on experience with a wide variety of laser systems, large frame gas lasers (excimer and CO2), solid state CW and pulsed lasers (YAG, YLF, and Ar+), dye lasers, ultrafast lasers and optical parametric amplifiers (OPAs), and fiber lasers. In either a hands-on or laser program oversight capacity, I have worked with lasers for 16 years.

Merrick: My graduate research at Wayne State focused first on laser-based mass spectrometry for rapid DNA sequencing in 1991. Challenges we faced in solving that problem led to the fabrication of a chirped-pulse amplified ultrashort laser that I used in studies of fundamental interactions of light and matter and intramolecular redistribution of energy in excited molecules leading to ionization and fragmentation. During graduate research, I used excimer lasers to pump dye lasers for the DNA sequencing studies. The chirped pulse amplification system included argon-ion lasers to pump femtosecond lasers to seed the amplifiers and neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet lasers as the pump sources for the amplifiers. In my post-doctoral studies at the University of Virginia and later in work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, similar ultrashort pulsed laser systems evolved to include diode-pumped, neodymium-doped yttrium lithium fluoride lasers as much better pump sources for both the femtosecond seed and amplifier lasers as well OPOs and OPAs to increase the range of available laser wavelengths for research, from extreme UV to THz.

How did you become the LSO?

Kristy: The first company I worked at after my post-doc was developing prototype laser wind speed and direction indicators.  When the company began selling the prototypes commercially, they needed someone to make laser emission measurement and prepare product reports to apply for FDA accession numbers.

Merrick: I worked for a company developing prototype LIDAR systems for detection of wind speed and direction, and for landing assistance for helicopters in low visibility conditions.  When the company began selling the prototypes commercially, they needed someone to make laser emission measurements and prepare product reports to apply for FDA accession numbers.

Do you like being the LSO? How has becoming certified benefited you in your career?

Kristy: I have found my LSO certification to be very useful and beneficial to my career, even as I have changed my role with respect to laser work considerably.  In my first position I was directly involved in the development of new commercial laser products, so my LSO duties were perhaps the most “conventional”, measuring laser output parameters and preparing product reports for FDA registration.  As I have transitioned to a program oversight role, first as a technical support contractor at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and then IARPA and now as a government program manager at IARPA, I no longer make direct measurements of laser products.  However, I use my LSO knowledge to evaluate laser performance characteristics and safety plans in proposals to the government, and in test plans for systems under development.  Having the credentials of a certified LSO adds weight to my evaluation of laser safety in both proposed and ongoing government projects, in the projects I directly manage, and other projects for which I provide technical subject matter expertise.

Merrick: Following work at the LIDAR company, which sponsored my first CLSO classes and certification, I began supporting research efforts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in a variety of optical and laser based technologies for which my experience as a CLSO was critical.  In one specific case, a program using lasers to detect air disturbances required approvals to operate outdoors by the Laser Clearinghouse, a group of military laser safety personnel who assure safe use of lasers outside the lab.  Being able to speak in the “language” of laser safety has always made those interactions much easier than they can be. Other work with projects involving laser guide stars for adaptive optics correction for telescopes and the related safety concerns is another example of how both my experience with lasers and my experience and certification as a CLSO has continued to benefit my work.  In fact, in the job I recently left at Parsons, I was the Laser Safety Officer for my division; I oversaw both the safety certifications for and was involved in much of the fundamental research and design work of the portable camera systems that used IR laser illuminators for spectral scene discrimination at night.

Featured CMLSO: Terri Clarkson
Tell us about yourself

My name is Terri Clarkson. I am a Registered Nurse and the CMLSO at SpaMedica in Toronto, Canada under the direction of Dr. Stephen Mulholland.

When did you start working with lasers?

I have been working with cosmetic surgical/aesthetic lasers at SpaMedica for 20 years now. We have a broad spectrum of technology covering every wavelength available for cosmetic/aesthetic applications.

How did you become the LSO?

As we grew and expanded, I was asked to be the MLSO and oversee the programs. I became certified in 2004.

Do you like being the MLSO? How has becoming certified benefited you in your career?

What I enjoy most about being the CMLSO is the continuing education, teaching and sharing of knowledge with colleagues within the workplace.

For example, in 2010, I had the privilege of reviewing and critiquing a new training video called “Focal Points” for the Laser Institute of America.

Certification has validated my credibility and allowed me to work with different laser companies to assist in their training programs as well.


CLSO Charles Wilson

CLSO Dušan Zadravec

CLSO Joanna Casson

CLSO Khalid Alqarni

CLSO Leon Harris

CMLSO Cindy Montgomery

CMLSO Julie Phillips

CMLSO Kay Ball

CMLSO Tucker Scherger

CMLSO Richard L. Roudebush

Save the Dates
Refresher Training – Earn CM Points!

LSO Courses

Comprehensive LSO (Kentek)
Westford, MA
06/12/2017 – 06/16/2017

LSO with Hazard Analysis (LIA)
Denver, CO
06/05/2017 – 06/09/2017

Phoenix, AZ
10/16/2017 – 10/20/2017

Miami, FL
11/06/2017 – 11/10/2017

Principles of Lasers & LSO Course (RLI)

Chicago (Evanston), IL
06/19/2017 – 06/23/2017

Cincinnati, OH
08/21/2017 – 08/25/2017

Phoenix, AZ
10/09/2017 – 10/13/2017

MLSO Courses

Medical Laser Safety Officer Online (LIA)

Medical Laser Safety Officer (LIA)
New York, NY
08/12/2017 – 08/13/2017

Rosemont, IL
09/16/2017 – 09/17/2017

Phoenix, AZ
10/14/2017 – 10/15/2017

Miami, FL
11/04/2017 – 11/05/2017

Medical LSO (Reliable Laser Solutions)
San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Tucson, AZ

Phoenix, AZ
Medical LSO (RLI)
Cincinnati, OH
08/24/2017 – 08/25/2017



Not only did the Z136 standards travel with us to ILSC in Atlanta, but our own CMLSO Kay Ball was onsite and available to autograph sample copies of her soon-to-be-revised book, LASERS – The Perioperative Challenge. Thanks Kay!

Tools of the Trade


ANSI Z136.9

ANSI Z136.9

ANSI Z136.8





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 unsubscribe@lasersafety.org or contact the BLS at 13501 Ingenuity Dr, Suite 128, Orlando, FL 32826. Tel: +1.407.985.3810 Fax: +1.407.380.5588

Due to health concerns, the spring CLSO/CMLSO exam is being cancelled and the 2020 DOE workshop has been postponed. The fall exam will be held be held prior to the 2020 DOE workshop on August 17th, 2020. Our office team is working remotely and ready to assist you during our regular business hours!

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