BLS Featured CLSO: Paul R. Daniel Jr.
Tell us about yourself
I am Paul R. Daniel Jr., CLSO. I started Daniel Laser Safety LLC in July 2009 after a 32-year career at AC Spark Plug Division GM and Delphi Automotive in Flint, Michigan.
I graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1976.
When did you start working with lasers?
I started working at AC in 1976. In 1995, my staff engineer and the divisional health and safety director came to me and asked if I would be interested in becoming the divisional LSO. They had noticed my laser work building machines, application development, and maintenance. This LSO responsibility involved about a dozen plant sites in the US. I went to Indiana to meet the previous LSO and then went to the next available LSO training. Upon completing the course, I started to set up the AC laser safety program.
Do you like being the LSO?
I like being an LSO because I can create an environment where laser safety related engineering controls devices and designs, administrative policies and laser hazard knowledge can be communicated to those designing and building, maintaining or operating laser machines to maximize the safety for our employees.
It was originally challenging to create laser safety materials and training that was appropriate for each level of employee. For instance, operator and electrician training is different by topics, language and presentation time. There were also people that would not buy in to the laser safety program, which is essential for their own safety. I found that most electricians who maintain lasers are good in convincing operators and other electricians to buy in.
What are the challenges of LSOs today?
The challenges for LSOs include keeping up on the ever changing and advancing laser technology, the training and education of health care personnel to today’s standards, and dispelling the myths of the past when it comes to safety and laser program compliance. Having the right information and rationale is the key to gaining buy-in from the staff and changing cultures to get on the right track.
Has becoming certified benefited you in your career?
It challenged me to learn about all aspects of laser safety not just what directly applies to my safety situations. The company who gets a CLSO on staff shows a strong commitment to laser safety. It has also allowed me to continue to work in laser safety after my corporate life.