Laser devices

Laser devices

Section 3 of the Finnish Government Decree on laser devices and inspection of the same (291/2008) provides the following safety classification scheme for lasers:

Class 1
Class 1 laser devices are safe under reasonably foreseeable conditions of operation.

Class 1M
Class 1M laser devices are safe under reasonably foreseeable conditions of operation, but can be harmful if the beam is viewed using magnifying optical instruments. Class 1M laser devices operate in a wavelength range of 302.5 to 4,000 nm (nanometre).

Class 2
Class 2 laser devices are safe under reasonably foreseeable conditions of operation. Eye damage is prevented by the natural blink reflex. Eye damage from radiation may result from prolonged deliberate exposure to the laser beam. Class 2 laser devices operate in the visible light region at wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm.

Class 2M
Radiation from Class 2M laser devices may damage the eye as a result of prolonged deliberate exposure to the laser beam or if the beam is viewed using magnifying optical instruments. Class 2M laser devices operate in the visible light region at wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm.

Class 3R
Direct exposure to the laser beam may cause eye injuries, but the risk is lower than with Class 3B devices. Class 3R laser devices may have sufficient power to cause an eye injury, both from the direct beam and from reflections. Class 3R laser devices operate in a wavelength range of 302.5 to 106 nm.

Class 3B
Direct exposure to the laser beam is considered dangerous to the eye. Exposure from diffuse reflections is not usually dangerous.

Class 4
Even diffuse reflections from the beam of a Class 4 laser device are capable of causing an eye injury. Skin damage is possible both from direct exposure and reflections. Class 4 laser beams also present a fire hazard. Special care is required when handling Class 4 laser devices.

The classification scheme factors in both the normal operation of laser devices and malfunctions. The classification scheme is based on the EN 60825-1 standard.