|Message from the Director
For those who have achieved certification and are nearing
the end of the certification maintenance (CM) cycle now is the time to submit CM worksheets for renewal.
After passing an exam, it is to the responsibility of the CLSO or CMLSO to maintain his/her certification by demonstrating completion of sufficient professional development activities to ensure
continued competency. The CM cycle begins on January 1 of the year following the year in which the exam is passed and ends on December 31 of the third year. During this 3-year period, the individual
must obtain at least 10 CM points to renew certification.
There are a number of different categories in which to receive CM points:
- 1. Laser safety experience
- Current job experience
- 2. Attendance and successful completion of laser safety specific education/training
- Have you taken any refresher training in the past 3 years? Training courses must be completed by December 31 to be included in this cycle.
- 3. Publication of laser safety or application related articles
- 4. Teaching laser safety (outside of your company/organization)
- 5. Membership in a laser safety-related professional/technical organization or society
- LIA offers a special 3-year membership to those who have achieved certification for only $235! This membership rate is only available to CLSOs and CMLSOs.
- 6. Active participation in a laser safety standards or regulations committee (outside of your company/organization)
- Join ASC Z136 or one of its subcommittees to ensure your voice is heard!
- Annual meeting plans are underway – join us in March 2016.
- 7. Attendance at laser safety or applications professional conferences or meetings
- Did you attend ILSC 2015? Each full day of the conference earns 1 CM point!
- 8. Presentations or poster papers at laser safety professional conferences or meetings
- 9. Writing exam questions (accepted by BLS Review Board)
- 10. Related professional certifications; review of approved laser-related journal articles
Lastly, a CLSO or CMLSO may retake the applicable exam if unable to achieve the ten CM points and wishes to maintain active certification status; however, the exam must be taken prior
to December 31 (end of cycle).
For a thorough review of certification maintenance including CM categories in detail, please go to http://www.lasersafety.org/certification-maintenance. To download a CM manual or worksheet, please go to http://www.lasersafety.org/forms/certification. If you have any questions regarding activities for certification maintenance, please contact the
BLS at 407.985.3810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Laser Safety
|In Safety News
The ANSI Z136.6 Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors standard has been revised!
This standard provides guidance for the safe use of lasers in an outdoor environment,
including laser products that have been granted a variance — covering products and applications such as laser light shows, lasers used for outdoor scientific research and military lasers. In addition
to addressing injurious levels of optical radiation as in other Z136 standards, ANSI Z136.6 also covers possible indirect hazards such as visual interference that can be caused by exposure to visible
laser radiation, particularly at night.
With the proliferation of handheld portable laser devices available to the public, the threat to aircraft and other vehicles from illumination has increased dramatically. This standard provides
acceptable levels of irradiation in particular defined zones of navigable airspace in order to minimize visual interference to aircrews. These zones were created to reduce illumination levels of
aircrews during critical phases of flight, primarily during takeoff and landing, in response to numerous incidents of aircraft illuminations that have occurred during the past several years.
Development of this standard has been a collaborative effort of members of the SAE G-10 Committee, laser light show industry (including manufacturers), DoD, FDA/CDRH, FAA, NASA, and laser users
including scientists and astronomers. It serves as a companion document to the SAE Aerospace Standard AS4970, 21 CFR 040, FAA Order 7400.2 and related FAA documents, Military Standard 1425A, and
Military Handbook 828B for determining the hazards from outdoor laser operations.
Save the Date
Plans are underway for the 2016 ASC Z136 Annual Meeting. Space has been reserved at NIST Gaithersburg for March 9-11, 2016. The main meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 10, with
availability for ancillary meetings to be held on Wednesday and Friday.
Subcommittee chairs, if you are interested in holding a meeting or have an agenda item, please email Barbara Sams at email@example.com or call 407.380.1553.
Observers are welcome! If you would like to attend the ASC Z136 Annual Meeting to have a better understanding of the committee’s activities, please contact Barbara for
|Outdoor Laser Safety Concerns
illuminations of aircraft are expected to be up significantly this year. From about 3,500 – 4,000 FAA-reported incidents annually during the past four years, there will be about 7,000 incidents in
2015. Of course, handheld consumer lasers have become less expensive and more powerful over the past decade, leading to a general rise in incidents. (There were only 283 reported laser/aircraft
illuminations in all of 2005.) Thus far, no unusual factors stand out in causing the 2015 rise.
Fortunately, the record for outdoor laser safety by responsible, professional users is admirable. The guidelines in ANSI Z136.6 and in related regulations such as FAA’s Advisory Circular 70-1 have
resulted in an almost complete absence of pilot complaints about fixed laser installations and laser light shows. The International Laser Display Association is unaware of any issues relating to U.S.
laser light shows in the past decade.
According to ANSI ASC Z136 member Patrick Murphy, who tracks incidents at LaserPointerSafety.com, any solution has to be multifaceted, “It will involve
better labeling and user education, continued arrests, and possibly restrictions on consumer lasers. In addition, it’s vital for pilots to be trained in how to mitigate laser effects because there is
always the potential for deliberate or malicious misuse.”
Thanks to Patrick Murphy for his contribution to the BLS News & Review. The photo, Outdoor Laser Artwork in Pittsburgh, is courtesy of Lightwave International. The reflected beams going into
airspace were reviewed with no objections by the FAA.
|OSHA Seeks Public Comment on New Program
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is updating its Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines and wants your help in shaping the new document.
Intended to help employers establish safety and health management plans at their workplaces, the guidelines were first published in 1989. They are being updated to reflect modern technology and
practices. As revised, the guidelines should be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized businesses. And for the first time, they address ways in which multiple employers at the same worksite
can coordinate efforts to make sure all workers are protected.
The guidelines are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations under OSHA standards or regulations.
OSHA has made available a draft of the revised document on its website, at www.osha.gov/shpmguidelines, along with a set of questions to consider
when reviewing the guidelines. The page also has a direct link to post comments, which will be accepted until February 15. Comments will be taken into consideration when creating a final set of
“The goal of safety and health management is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
“Employers who embrace these guidelines will experience lower injury and illness rates, and their progress in improving the safety culture at their worksites will contribute to higher productivity,
reduced costs and greater worker satisfaction.”
|Featured CLSO: Greta Toncheva
Tell us about yourself
I am Greta Toncheva, CLSO, RRPT, Laser Safety Officer and Health Physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA.
I completed my BS and MS in solid-state physics and optical electronics at Plovdiv University, Bulgaria.
I have been working in the field of laser safety since 2009 and I am now at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA.
How did you become an LSO?
I worked at Duke University for 10 years, the first 2 years I assembled detectors for the Transition Radiation Tracker in the beam line of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland. When that
project was completed, I joined the Duke Radiation Safety group. Most of my time was devoted to research and measurements of whole body and organ dose during diagnostic x-ray procedures using MOSFET
detectors. I was also on the laser safety team conducting hazard evaluations and laser lab inspections. Three years ago, a great opportunity presented itself and I was hired to be the LBNL LSO.
Do you like being the LSO? What challenges come with the job?
I enjoy being a laser safety officer and working at a National Laboratory with cutting-edge research where safety is a highest priority. The constant change in experimental laser setup and
all new laser applications coming into the lab keep me very busy. My customers are not only staff researchers, but also a lot of visitor researchers and young graduate and post-doctoral fellows eager
to demonstrate their bright ideas, but coming from universities with a different than a National lab safety culture.
It is a challenge to bring them up to the high safety standards at a National lab. I know I have done my part well when after helping them, I see their smiling faces. It feels like I am a part of
How has becoming certified helped you in your career?
Becoming certified was the most gratifying personal accomplishment for me. It gives me confidence and the credibility. I would recommend everyone who is thinking of certifying – just pursue it;
you will be glad you did it.
|Featured CMLSO: Richard A. Gama
Tell us about yourself
My name is Richard A. Gama and I am a certified medical laser safety officer and certified surgical technologist with over 32 years of professional operating room experience. I have been involved
with thousands of surgical procedures of all kinds in many states around the country and have always been professionally dedicated to the concept of “Aeger Primo”- The Patient First!
I have attended many laser safety officer training courses over the years from the Beckman Laser Institute, LIA, and ASLMS. I have also attended nearly two-hundred manufacturer sponsored laser
training courses. My initial education began at Moorpark College with an Associate level of study in science and business. I then entered the accredited Simi Valley School of Surgical Technology,
earned a Surgical Technology Diploma in 1983, and became nationally certified.
I currently work for Universal Hospital Services, Inc. (UHS) in the Surgical Services division of the company and serve as the Director of Clinical Services and Training. UHS is a leading national
provider of health care technology management and service solutions to the health care industry.
When did you start working with lasers?
I began working with lasers as a Surgical Technologist in the early Eighties. I became a dedicated health care laser system operator in 1988 and have been working with many kinds of laser systems
for all kinds of medical and surgical procedures ever since.
Like many people, I was asked (voluntold) to become the LSO for company because of my operating room and already extensive laser experience after three years on the job. I attended my first Laser
Institute of America LSO training course in 1991 and immediately began to setup our laser safety program and policies for the company in accordance with the excellent training that I was
Do you like being the LSO?
I love being the MLSO for our company because it gives me the opportunity to utilize all of my laser training, skills and experiences to create a high-level and compliant laser safety program for
the betterment of workplace and patient safety and treatment outcomes. It is very rewarding to know that I can have a positive impact within our company and the laser health care industry as a result
of my LSO activities.
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
Has becoming certified benefited you in your career?
I became a certified as a medical laser safety officer in 2005 and was one of the first hundred people to do so at that time, of which I am very proud. Becoming certified is no easy task but it
has definitely added value and credibility to my position and career as it is one of the highest credentials that you can have in the field. Being certified is a validation of your skills and
expertise, which compels you to adhere to the highest standards of safety and professional practice. Having a CMLSO on staff is a demonstration of the employer’s dedication to worker and patient
safety and high-level standards compliance.