DAOD 2050-1, Laser Safety Programme


1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2008-02-29

Date of Last Major Modification: 2013-09-26

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian ArmedForces (CAF members).

Supersession: CFAO 66-4, Laser Safety

Approval Authorities: Chief of the Air Force Staff (C Air Force)

Enquiries: Director Air Force Safety Centre (Dir AFSC), National Defence Laser Safety Office (NDLSO), 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters (1 Cdn Air Div HQ)

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2. Overview

Common Laser Safety Terms

2.1 The following are common laser safety terms used in the DND and the CAF:

Term Description

exposure

The amount of absorbed radiation as determined by the level of emission and the duration of that emission.

laser device

Any device that generates or utilizes radiant energy predominantly by stimulated emission. Laser radiation may be highly coherent temporally or spatially, or both. In the context of this DAOD, a laser device includes any laser pointer, force-on-force training laser, enclosed or embedded laser or other laser, with wavelengths between 180 nanometres and 11,000 nanometres.

laser pointer

A laser device that:

  • is usually hand held;
  • emits a low-divergence visible beam; and
  • is intended for designating specific objects.

Under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1-2007, Safe Use of Lasers (available in English only), a laser pointer is normally categorized as Class 1, Class 1M (previously Class 3A), Class 2 or Class 3R (previously Class 3A "Danger" logo laser pointers).

laser radiation

Energy propagation through space in the form of electromagnetic waves comprised of electric and magnetic fields with wavelengths between 180 nanometres and 11,000 nanometres.

laser safety officer (LSO)

A DND employee or CAF member appointed to oversee the compliant use of laser devices and laser hazard controls.

laser system

An assembly of electrical, mechanical and optical components, including a laser device.

Note – The terms "eye-safe laser" and "retina-safe laser" are not authorized for use in the DND and the CAF due to inconsistent standards relating to laser wavelengths outside the retinal-hazard region.

Purpose

2.2 The purpose of the National Defence Laser Safety Programme (NDLSP) is to ensure that DND employees, CAF members and members of the public are not exposed to harmful levels of laser radiation during the approved operation of laser devices by the DND and the CAF.

2.3 This DAOD must be read in conjunction with:

  1. C-02-040-002/AA-000, Evaluation and Control of Laser Hazards;
  2. C-02-040-002/TS-001, Laser Safety; and
  3. ANSI Z136.1 (available in English only).

Structure

2.4 The NDLSP operates a two-tiered structure:

  1. the NDLSO, which acts as the strategic tier providing policy, guidance and direction for all DND and CAF laser devices and activities; and
  2. the National Defence Laser Safety Board (NDLSB), which provides strategic advice to the NDLSO on laser devices, activities and the Laser Safety Orders and Directives (LSODs).

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3. National Defence Laser Safety Programme

Compliance and Requirements

3.1 The NDLSP sets out:

  1. requirements and procedures for the compliance assessment of laser devices during procurement;
  2. procedures for the assessment, prevention and control of hazards associated with laser devices;
  3. requirements for the compliant use of laser devices during training and operations;
  4. emergency response procedures for laser exposure incidents and accidents;
  5. requirements and procedures for the investigation of laser exposure incidents and accidents;
  6. requirements for the medical assessment of personnel (see the CF Health Services Group (H Svcs Gp) Instruction 4440-16, Physical Hazards Surveillance Program);
  7. requirements for DND employees and CAF members who use laser devices or work in an environment where laser hazards may be present; and
  8. qualification standards and training requirements for LSOs.

Legal Obligations

3.2 The DND and the CAF must ensure that the NDLSP complies with Canada's domestic laws and its international treaty obligations and other commitments, including:

  1. Protocol on Binding Laser Weapons (Protocol IV to the 1980 Convention), 13 October 1995
  2. NATO STANAG 2900, Laser Radiation – Medical Surveillance and Evaluation of Over-Exposure;
  3. NATO STANAG 3606 ARSP-4, Laser Safety Evaluation for Outdoor Military Environments;
  4. Radiation Emitting Devices Act;
  5. Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations;
  6. Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  7. Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations; and
  8. the law of armed conflict.

Operational Imperative

3.3 If the direction in this DAOD places a significant limitation on an operation, the applicable commander or commanding officer (CO) must seek instructions from higher headquarters, with consultation with the NDLSO as required.

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4. National Defence Laser Safety Office

General

4.1 As the strategic tier of the NDLSP, the NDLSO reports through the C Air Force as the NDLSP Champion, to the Defence Management Committee on all laser safety-related issues. The NDLSO is the centre of excellence for laser safety in the DND and the CAF.

4.2 The NDLSO is located with, and functions as part of, the AFSC at 1 Cdn Air Div HQ in Winnipeg.

Roles

4.3 The primary roles of the NDLSO are to:

  1. represent the interests of the DND and the CAF in the development of laser safety policies with other federal and international organizations;
  2. assess risks associated with the use of laser devices;
  3. advise level one (L1) advisor organizations and operational commands on:
    1. risks associated with the use of laser devices;
    2. measures to prevent injury; and
    3. specific laser devices and their intended uses prior to procurement or deployment;
  4. maintain awareness of current developments in national and international laser safety standards, policies and procedures;
  5. recommend:
    1. research or trials to develop or improve the NDLSP; and
    2. appropriate laser eye protection for exposure to laser radiation;
  6. establish the procedures and requirements for conducting laser range safety surveys;
  7. coordinate the qualification standards and training requirements for LSOs;
  8. coordinate the laser system review board; and
  9. review and disseminate laser safety-related reports of accidents, incidents and investigations.

Terms of Reference

4.4 A link to the NDLSO terms of reference is found on the AFSC intranet site.

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5. National Defence Laser Safety Board

General

5.1 The NDLSB provides strategic advice to the NDLSO on laser devices, activities and LSODs. The NDLSB may have representation on several safety committees.

5.2 The NDLSB consists of:

  • a chairperson;
  • a secretary; and
  • representatives from:
  1. L1 advisor organizations holding or using laser devices;
  2. the Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE);
  3. the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Valcartier;
  4. the CF H Svcs Gp; and
  5. other major stakeholders.

Terms of Reference

5.3 A link to the NDLSB terms of reference is found on the AFSC intranet site.

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6. Laser Safety Orders and Directives

6.1 The NDLSO develops LSODs, and recommends their approval by the C Air Force, to provide detailed direction governing laser safety, including:

  1. the safe use and control of laser devices and laser-related activities;
  2. the procurement and disposal requirements for laser devices;
  3. the qualification standards and training requirements for LSOs;
  4. international obligations regarding the use of laser devices;
  5. procedures and requirements for conducting laser device hazard evaluations;
  6. laser device inventory requirements;
  7. procedures and requirements for laser safety in training and operations;
  8. procedures and requirements for conducting laser range safety surveys;
  9. procedures for Laser Safety Programme evaluations; and
  10. laser exposure incident and accident prevention, consequence control and emergency response.

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7. Procurement and Laser Hazard Assessment

Requirements

7.1 Subject to paragraph 7.4, no laser device is exempt from the compliance requirements of the NDLSP. If there is a requirement to procure a laser device, DND employees and CAF members must take health and safety considerations into account during the entire materiel acquisition and support process.

7.2 When a laser device is to be procured for use in the DND and the CAF, the NDLSO must be informed prior to the acquisition in order to evaluate the laser device to establish the hazards associated with it. Procedures for materiel acquisition and support activities are outlined in DAOD 3000-0, Material Acquisition and Support, and A-LM-505-019/JS-001, LCMM Activities Handbook.

7.3 The NDLSO must implement a safety review process to ensure that any laser device meets the accessible emission limits (see C-02-040-002/TS-001) and has appropriate safeguards. This process must include:

  1. reviewing intended uses;
  2. performing and reviewing hazard evaluations;
  3. reviewing training requirements;
  4. ensuring adequate protective measures;
  5. re-evaluating any upgraded or modified laser device; and
  6. ensuring any required calibration of a laser device during its life cycle.

Exception for Classroom Laser Pointers

7.4 For any classroom laser pointer of less than 5 milliwatts, the NDLSO does not need to be informed of the purchase, and a safety review by the NDLSO is not performed.

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8. Laser Safety Officer Appointment and Training

Appointment

8.1 A DND manager, commander of a command, formation, wing or base or CO of an organization that holds or uses any laser device must appoint an LSO.

Qualification

8.2 A person who is appointed as an LSO is only qualified if the person has successfully met the LSO qualification standard (qualification code AEWF).

8.3 Training for the LSO qualification standard is provided by a national level course given by the NDLSO or through a distance learning course on the Defence Learning Network portal coordinated by The Royal Regiment of Canada Artillery School, Combat Training Centre, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.

Laser Awareness Training

8.4 Only a qualified LSO may provide laser awareness training. A unit LSO must provide annual laser awareness training to all personnel within their unit who have any involvement with laser devices. The training must include laser safety hazards and control measures specific to the laser devices being used in the unit.

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9. Inventory Requirements

LSO to be Informed

9.1 As part of the inventory process, DND employees and CAF members are required to inform their LSO of any new laser device procurement or change in their inventory, including any commercial off-the-shelf laser purchased locally.

Registers

9.2 An LSO must maintain a register of all laser devices currently held by their organization. A command LSO must maintain a consolidated register for their command and forward it, on request, to the NDLSO.

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10. Medical Examination

Requirements

10.1 The CF H Svcs Gp Instruction 4440-16, Annex E, sets out requirements for medical surveillance and post-incident and accident medical examinations with respect to laser devices and activities.

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11. Investigation, Laser Illumination and Notification

Investigation

11.1 A CO must conduct an investigation into any incident or accident involving a laser device, including force-on-force. The investigation must be conducted in accordance with, as applicable:

  1. A-GG-040-001/AG-001, General Safety Program, Volume 1, Policy and Program; or
  2. A-GA-135-001/AA-001, Flight Safety for the Canadian Forces.

Contravention

11.2 It is a contravention under section 601.20 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations to project or cause to be projected a directed bright light source into navigable airspace in such a manner as to create a hazard to aviation safety, damage to an aircraft or injury to persons on board the aircraft. A DND employee or CAF member must not project or cause to be projected a laser device at a commercial or civilian aircraft.

Training

11.3 If there is a requirement in training to direct a laser device or other bright light source at a military aircraft, approved safety measures and rules of engagement must be implemented.

Unauthorized Illumination of a Military Aircraft

11.4 When a military aircraft is illuminated, other than during training (see paragraph 11.3), by a laser or suspected laser (bright green, blue, red or yellow light) or other bright light source, the aircrew should look away and immediately inform air traffic control. A flight safety incident report must be made and the military police must be informed. Any affected aircrew must seek medical attention in accordance with CF H Svcs Gp Instruction 4440-16, Annex E, and an investigation must be conducted as outlined in paragraph 11.1.

Notification

11.5 A CO must notify their higher headquarters and the AFSC within 24 hours of any laser device incident, accident or unauthorized illumination.

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12. Consequences

Consequences of Non-Compliance

12.1 Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance will be investigated. The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from actual non-compliance will be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance. Consequences of non-compliance may include one or more of the following:

  1. the ordering of the completion of appropriate learning, training or professional development;
  2. increased reporting and performance monitoring;
  3. the withdrawal of any authority provided under this DAOD to a DND employee or CAF member;
  4. the reporting of suspected offences to responsible law enforcement agencies;
  5. the liability of Her Majesty in right of Canada;
  6. the application of specific consequences as set out in applicable laws, codes of conduct, and DND and CAF policies and instructions; and
  7. other administrative or disciplinary action, or both.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

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13. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

13.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The ... is or are responsible for ...

C Air Force

  • providing functional guidance for the operation of the NDLSP;
  • issuing LSODs for the NDLSP; and
  • acting as the NDLSP Champion.

L1 advisors whose organizations hold or use laser devices

  • providing representatives to the NDLSB;
  • implementing laser safety programmes in their organizations and ensuring compliance with the DAOD 2050 series and LSODs;
  • ensuring their organizations have sufficient laser safety expertise to meet laser safety requirements;
  • ensuring laser safety control measures, including the appointment of LSOs, are put into place through their own related orders, directives or instructions, as required;
  • reviewing and implementing recommendations for laser safety hazard controls; and
  • maintaining a current inventory of laser devices held within their organizations.

Dir AFSC, NDLSO

  • acting as the chairperson of the NDLSB;
  • acting as the NDLSP authority, including:
    • ensuring programme integrity;
    • developing orders and directives for the NDLSP; and
    • providing functional direction and oversight for all DND and CAF laser safety activities;
  • providing an annual report on the operation of the NDLSO and the NDLSB to the C Air Force;
  • representing the DND and the CAF on matters related to laser safety in dealings with Health Canada, Industry Canada, other government departments, NATO allies and international organizations;
  • approving protocols for laser evaluation of modified in-service laser devices or as part of first article testing;
  • advising L1 advisor organizations and operational commands on:
    • risks associated with the use of laser devices, including hazards of laser radiation to personnel; and
    • measures to prevent injury and control laser radiation exposure;
  • addressing other laser safety issues as required; and
  • notifying the C Air Force of any non-compliance with this DAOD.

NDLSB

  • providing strategic advice to the NDLSO on laser devices, activities and LSODs.

DND managers, commanders of commands, formations, wings and bases, and COs of organizations, that hold or use laser devices

  • ensuring effective laser safety control measures are put in place through their own related orders, directives or instructions; and
  • appointing LSOs.

Director General Health Services

  • establishing CAF medical staff training requirements and examination standards with respect to laser activities;
  • providing the NDLSP with occupational health support for Laser Safety Programme development and sustainment, and establishing CAF medical standards for human health effects of non-ionizing radiation and management protocols for laser injuries; and
  • advising the C Air Force and NDLSO on medical aspects and injuries related to laser devices.

QETE and DRDC Valcartier

  • providing hazard evaluations of laser devices;
  • providing laser protection and laser safety expertise; and
  • ensuring that the NDLSO and approved protocols are used for laser evaluation of modified in-service laser devices and as part of first article testing.

LSOs

  • implementing and coordinating laser safety control measures on behalf of their respective DND managers, commanders and COs;
  • ensuring all laser devices within their organizations are properly installed, maintained, surveyed and operated in accordance with the NDLSP and relevant orders, directives and instructions;
  • ensuring all DND employees and CAF members who work with laser devices, or work in the environment where radiation hazards may be present, receive laser safety awareness training;
  • maintaining a register of all laser devices; and
  • advising the chain of command and the NDLSO of any suspected laser-related injuries.

life cycle materiel managers, procurement personnel and project managers

  • ensuring that all laser devices under their control have been evaluated to establish the extent and type of associated laser hazards;
  • ensuring, in the case of any laser device that presents a laser hazard or is capable of causing injury during normal operation, that appropriate physical and administrative hazard controls are put in place in order to maintain exposure within the required limits;
  • ensuring that DND contractors provide laser safety data on new, modified or upgraded laser devices as part of contract deliverables;
  • ensuring that contracts comply with federal standards; and
  • tasking QETE or DRDC Valcartier to provide laser evaluation of modified in-service laser devices and as part of first article testing.

DND employees and CAF members

  • knowing and complying with laser safety control measures set out in relevant orders, directives and instructions.

14. References

Other References

  • DAOD 3000-0, Materiel Acquisition and Support
  • A-GA-135-001/AA-001, Flight Safety for the Canadian Forces
  • A-GG-040-001/AG-001, General Safety Program, Volume 1, Policy and Program
  • A-LM-505-019/JS-001, LCMM Activities Handbook
  • C-02-040-002/AA-000, Evaluation and Control of Laser Hazards
  • C-02-040-002/TS-001, Laser Safety
  • CF H Svcs Gp Instruction 4440-16, Physical Hazards Surveillance Program
  • NATO STANAG 2900, Laser Radiation – Medical Surveillance and Evaluation of Over-Exposure
  • NATO STANAG 3606, ARSP-4, Laser Safety Evaluation for Outdoor Military Environments
  • ANSI Z136.1, Safe Use of Lasers (available in English only)
  • AFSC intranet site
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