Product Code: 114_2020 | ISBN: 978-1-940168-20-3

ANSI Z136.5 (2020) - Safe Use Of Lasers In Educational Institutions

Hardcopy Version

Z136.5-2020 hardcopy version is a single-user soft cover edition that provides reasonable and adequate guidance for the safe use of lasers in educational environments by evaluating and minimizing hazards associated with laser radiation.

Environments characteristic of educational institutions, wherein lasers may be found, include teaching laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls, science fairs, museums, and student projects on-and-off campus. This standard is intended for faculty and students using lasers at primary, secondary, and college levels of education, excluding graduate level research laboratories that are more comprehensively addressed by ANSI Z136.8 (latest revision) and Z136.1 (latest revision). The wavelength range of interest includes the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum; specifically, the wavelength range from 180 nanometer (nm) to 1 millimeter (mm).

2020 updates to the standard include:

  •  New and updated definitions
  •  A listing of Acronyms and Abbreviations
  •  More detailed information on laser pointers and their safe use
  •  Improved guidance on appropriate lasers respective of educational class levels
  •  Expanded safety guidance on demonstration lasers with the public
  •  Updated tables that include Maximum Permissible Exposures [MPEs] and Nominal Ocular Hazard Distances [NOHD]
  •  Current warning signs, compliant with ANSI Z535 and ISO 3864 with example lab layouts in color
  •  New color figures and examples in the appendices illustrating exposure conditions and hazard evaluations
  •  More detailed appendices and references for the organization and implementation of laser safety and training programs, including scope and structure of a written laser safety program

The ANSI Z136.5 Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions represents the latest and best in class for practical laser safety for students, educators and administrators. As laser technology continues to grow in capabilities and adoption in the economy, our educational institutions have access to the appropriate and practical guidance for the use of lasers in the educational setting.


An errata sheet is available free to download for the hardcopy of Z136.5-2020, correcting a printing error: Errata Sheet for Z136.5-2020 (Issued October 2021)

More Information

View a Sample of this publication (includes the Table of Contents).Order a digital (PDF) version of this standard.

This standard is designed to be used in conjunction with the ANSI Z136.1 (2014). Both documents are available for purchase as a set:

Electronic Set: ANSI Z136.1 (2014) & ANSI Z136.5 (2020)
Hardcopy Set: ANSI Z136.1 (2014) & ANSI Z136.5 (2020)
For site license inquiries, please contact Mark Brown, Director of Sales (ANSI), +1.212.642.4935.

Page count: 128

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