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About This Item


Full Description


This is the fifth edition of CSA Z386, Safe use of lasers in health care. It supersedes the previous editions, published in 2014, 2008 under the title Safe use of lasers in health care facilities, and in 2001 and 1992 under the title Laser Safety in Health Care Facilities.

This Standard has been developed in compliance with Standards Council of Canada requirements for National Standards of Canada. It has been published as a National Standard of Canada by CSA Group.


This Standard provides guidance for the safe use of lasers in health care. It applies to all procedures in health care settings where health care lasers are used, including, but not limited to, the following:
a) health care facilities;
b) dental clinics, offices, and facilities;
c) veterinary facilities;
d) laboratories and other research facilities;
e) physician offices;
f) cosmetic and aesthetic treatment facilities;
g) medical teaching facilities;
h) medical professional exhibitions and trade shows; and
i) medical laser servicing organizations.

This Standard presents the engineering, procedural, personal protective equipment, and administrative controls necessary to ensure the safety of persons at risk in the vicinity of a health care laser, based upon a risk assessment.
Note: A risk assessment is a thorough analysis of the workplace to identify situations, processes, etc. that can cause harm. A risk assessment, performed before policies and procedures are developed, is useful for determining engineering, administrative, and procedural controls and work practices to reduce the risk of laser exposure through
a) identification of hazards;
b) analysis or evaluation of the risks associated with those hazards; and
c) determining appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazards.

The control measures described in this Standard do not restrict or limit the use of laser systems, of any type, that can be intentionally administered for diagnostic, therapeutic, aesthetic, or research purposes. It is intended that those persons administering and assisting in the administering of the laser systems, as well as the patient, where applicable, are protected through the implementation of appropriate control measures and other provisions described in this Standard.

This Standard does not comment on the purposes, risks, or benefits of procedures or equipment, as they are the professional responsibility of health care providers. This Standard does, however, offer best practice guidelines to ensure the safe use of health-related lasers in health care settings as outlined in Clause 1.1.

In this Standard, "shall" is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the Standard; "should" is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and "may" is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard. Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material. Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements. Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.

Document History

  1. CSA Z386:20


    Safe use of lasers in health care

    • Most Recent
  2. CSA Z386-14 (R2019)

    Safe use of lasers in health care

    • Historical Version
  3. CSA Z386-08 (R2013)

    Laser Safety in Health Care Facilities (Adoption of ANSI Z136.3-2005 with Canadian Deviations)

    • Historical Version
  4. CAN/CSA Z386-92

    Laser Safety in Health Care Facilities

    • Historical Version