Lesson Learned/Best Practice Briefing


TitleFiber optic incident at Jefferson Lab

EventOther Facility Event

Event Date06/07/2019

CategoryESH-Laser - All Laser Users, Managers of 3B/4 Laser Systems, Laser Activity Leads, Laser Pointers, Laser Products, Laser Users/Operators-Class 3B/4 Lasers, Lasers in Construction, Optical Fibers

A graduate student inspected the end of a laser fiber without realizing that the Class 4 laser (30 W) connected to the fiber was energized. Because the student was wearing goggles, there was no injury. However, the goggles were visibly damaged. Without the protection of the goggles, the student would have suffered a serious eye injury.

Please see the attached document with details and a picture of the damaged goggles.

Lessons Learned:

-Always wear laser protective goggles when you are in the laser lab with open laser beams. The goggles are the last protection between you and the laser beam. The recent incident shows that they work!

-Before you work with an fiber optic, make sure that the laser is not energized and light is not propagated through the fiber.

-Always use a fiber inspection scope when you inspect the end of a fiber. Never look into the end of a laser fiber, but rather, treat the optic fiber as if it is a live, active circuit.

-Report to your supervisor or activity lead any laser beam exposure or suspected exposure as soon as possible; medical assistance takes priority! Check the contact list on the door placard and, if needed, update all the numbers for your supervisors, activity leads, and safety personnel. The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) phone number is listed on each laser warning sign.

Actions to Prevent Recurrence

Lessons Learned are part of the ISM Core Function 5, Feedback and Improvement. Applicable Lessons Learned are to be considered during working planning activities and incorporated in work processes, prior to performing work.
Please contact the following subject matter experts if you have any questions regarding this briefing.

Uploaded documents/attachments:
Jefferson Lab Safety Flash 070719.pdf
Lasered Protective Eyewear.png

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For other lessons learned and best practices, go to Lessons Learned and Best Practices Library