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Product Code: ILSC2007_1301

The Manufacturer's Role in Laser Safety
Authors:
Candace Soles, Coherent, Inc.; San Jose CA USA
Ken Barat, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; Berkeley CA USA
Presented at ILSC 2007

The laser manufacturer, as the laser industry leader, has a dual role in promoting and assuring laser safety. The first role, and regulatory mandate, is to manufacturer a safe laser product -- one that is compliant with national and international product safety regulations; however, to promote laser safety the manufacturer may need to do more than produce a safe product. Presenting a positive laser safety message to their customers is their second role and equally as important as manufacturing a safe laser. Servicing, training, or enduring customer audits are occasions for the manufacturer to make a lasting impression on a new or experienced user.

The importance of the manufacturer to been seen as an advocate of laser safety cannot be minimized. From the offering of warning signs, advice on eyewear, or calculating the MPE or NHZ for a particular laser system to sharing laser safety techniques with users (customers) at in-house training courses are key opportunities the manufacturer has to provide accurate information to the customer, thus, delivering a positive laser safety message. Maybe as in Coherent's case, support to professional groups at the local level (i.e., being an occasional meeting site for BALSO meetings) is another venue to promote safety in the laser-user community. Further, Company representatives such as sales and marketing staff, service staff, technical support staff, and laser safety officers must recognize their role in how they influence or contribute to the customer's understanding of laser safety. These representatives interact directly with the customer be it at the customer's site, at the manufacturer's site, by telephone or e-mail so awareness about the safety message they deliver, directly or indirectly, is very important to customer relations.

Two other items sometimes overlooked is making sure laser demonstrations at exhibits are performed in a safe manner, and giving users information about laser disposal (end of lifetime issues) options.

Our presentation will highlight all of these items and their importance.

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