Post: Laser Safety Regulations: Protecting Workers and Patients

Laser Safety Regulations: Protecting Workers and Patients

Ensuring your laser safety glasses meet the necessary standards is crucial. That’s why it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding radiation safety. In the United States, these regulations are largely established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and must be adhered to in order for laser safety glasses to be deemed suitable for use with lasers.

If your job involves handling lasers, it is highly likely that you’ll need to wear laser safety glasses. If your workplace has a designated Laser Safety Officer (LSO), then you should have access to all the necessary information to ensure that you are following the laser safety regulations. However, if there isn’t an LSO available, you may be unsure whether you’re taking the appropriate safety measures.

The laser safety regulations vary for different types of lasers. This guide aims to provide a general understanding of the common requirements applicable to most lasers that can potentially cause harm. Here you can read about some of the American laser safety regulations that remain consistent across various laser systems.


An essential feature for assuring laser safety is to have the optical density of your laser safety glasses marked directly on them. This information helps to determine the glasses’ ability to protect your eyes from laser radiation. Without this marking, it can be challenging to ensure that your glasses provide adequate protection. In that sense, all components of your laser safety eyewear, such as lasers, side shields, and frames, should meet or exceed the optical density (OD) specifications indicated on your glasses.

The lenses of your glasses must also be free from any surface defects or defects in material that could impede your vision. This means that if your glasses get scratched, they should be replaced promptly. Moreover, your laser safety eyewear should have an appropriate field of view that meets the demands of your work involving the laser.

Moreover, your laser safety glasses or goggles must meet the strength and impact resistance requirement outlined in the ANSI Z80.3-2000 standard, which is the same requirement that prescription glasses must meet. This requirement is minimal, and laser eyewear typically exceeds it.

For most laser applications, a 20% luminous transmittance is necessary, although it may not apply to all cases. Luminous transmittance is a complex term that considers not only the transmission of light through your lens but also the lighting conditions and your eye’s dilation. In general, a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 20% is considered acceptable.

It is imperative that the components of your laser safety glasses cannot be interchanged to alter their protection levels. This measure is essential to ensure that the glasses provide consistent and reliable protection and prevent accidental exposure to laser radiation.

While not universal, these laser safety regulations are typical for most laser applications and should be followed to ensure your safety. If you require more specific laser safety regulations for your laser application, obtaining a copy of the relevant ANSI Z136 regulation is recommended. This regulation provides comprehensive guidelines for laser safety that are specific to different laser systems and applications.

Phillips Safety is a reputable manufacturer of laser safety glasses that provide high-quality protection against laser radiation. Our glasses are available in a variety of frame styles and lens types to accommodate different laser applications. With our commitment to safety and innovation, Phillips Safety is a trusted provider of laser safety glasses for professionals across various industries.

If you still aren’t sure which laser glasses are right for you, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 1-866-575-1307 or talk to us through our chat or e-mail us at

Our laser experts will be able to tell you what you need for your application.


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