According EN 60825-1:2015-07 laser devices are classified into the following classes: 1, 1M, 2, 2M, 3R, 3B, 4
Special safety measures
LASER CLASS 1
Laser is safe under all conditions of normal use.
Safety measures are not necessary.
LASER CLASS 2
These lasers are not considered hazardous if irradiation lasts for up to 0.25 s. Do not deliberately look into the beam for any longer than this. This class is only defined in the visible range.
With class 2 laser equipment, there is no danger to the eye assuming that it is only exposed accidentally to the laser radiation for a limited time, i.e. up to 0.25 s. Class 2 laser equipment can therefore be used without any
special safety precautions, so long as it is not necessary for users to look intentionally at the beam (if it is being used for longer than 0.25 s) or to look repeatedly at the beam or reflected laser radiation.
LASER CLASS 2M
The beam is widened. In the visible range, the hazard level is the same as with class 2. Do not look into the beam. Do not use optical aids: these may focus the beam and be a danger to the eyes.
The same safety requirements apply as for laser class 2, but the user must also ensure that no optical instruments are used to observe the laser beam that would reduce the diameter of the beam.
LASER CLASS 3R
Class 3R laser equipment, like class 3B, is potentially hazardous to the eyes. The risk of damage to the eye can be reduced by restricting the accessible emission limit (AEL) in visible wavelengths to five times the AEL for class 2 and by restricting the AEL in all other wavelengths to five times the AEL for class 1.
When in use, the beam must be terminated at the end of an appropriate path. Avoid unintentional reflection. Class 3R laser equipment, like class 3B, is potentially hazardous to the eyes. However, there are no special requirements for eye protection (i.e. laser protective goggles) or protective clothing, due to the fact that the power output is
limited to five times the accessible emission limit for class 2. Operators and maintenance personnel must be trained in working with laser equipment.
LASER CLASS 3B
Medium-power laser systems. Danger to the eyes and potentially also to the skin. Do not allow yourself to be exposed to the beam. Diffuse scattered radiation at a minimum observation distance of 13 cm and a maximum observation time of 10 s is not hazardous. There is a possible risk of fire if the beam encounters flammable materials. Power output up to 500 mW.
When setting up the equipment or working in the laser area, suitable personal protection must be used (laser protective goggles, also protective gloves if necessary). The laser area must also be identified using appropriate warning signs.Laser equipment must be guarded against unauthorized use, e.g. by using a key switch or similar mechanism. A clearly visible visual indicator, e.g. „Laser in operation“, must be used to show when the laser is in operation. The laser beam must also be restricted to the necessary working area. There must be no reflective surfaces in this area.A laser safety officer must be appointed and notification must be given to the relevant professional organisation and the occupational health and safety authorities before the laser is used for the first time. In Germany, training courses in laser safety are provided by the TÜV, professional associations and similar organisations.
In consequence of the national occupational health and safety requirements, even further safety measures could be necessary in the respective laser classes. These have to be checked and implemented before start of operation.