Laser equipment and products containing laser beams must be classified according to the amount of radiation accessible during normal usage. The maximum output energy or power must be considered when determining the laser classification. Laser classification relates to the potential for injury from the beam itself not from related dangers such as electrical systems.
All lasers and laser systems in the U.S. are categorized into one of several hazard classes.
Corresponding labels affixed to the laser or laser system positively identify the class. These laser classifications are detailed in ANSI Z136.1, ANSI Z136.3; the Federal Laser Products Performance Standard, 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11; and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)