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ASTM International


ASTM Creates Standard on Safe Application of 3-D Imaging Technology

Before the standard, no safety guidelines specific to 3-D image system technology existed.

Published: Monday, March 22, 2010 - 16:51

(ASTM: West Conshohocken, PA) -- Three-dimensional image system technology is now used in a wide variety of industries, including construction, mapping, manufacturing, mining, and forensics. For all of these industries, safe usage of 3-D imaging equipment is a top priority. However, until the approval of a new ASTM International standard, no safety guidelines specifically oriented toward 3-D image system technology existed.

The ASTM standard that fills this safety gap, ASTM E2641, “Practice for Best Practices for Safe Application of 3-D Imaging Technology,” was developed by subcommittee E57.03 on guidelines, part of ASTM International’s committee E57 on 3-D imaging systems.

While laser equipment is classified by manufacturers with respect to eye safety, it is up to the operators of the equipment to use the equipment in a safe way that is consistent with classification. ASTM E2641 presents a plan for using equipment correctly, addressing such common sense concerns as ensuring that laser beams don’t cause distractions for motorists, equipment operators, and others.

In addition, ASTM E2641 covers the context of on-site safety. Use of ladders and scaffolding in a project, understanding the specifics of highway applications, and knowing whether there are hazardous areas in processing plants are all situations that need to be considered for the safe operation of 3-D image system equipment.

“No two applications are quite alike,” says Ted Knaak, president at Riegl USA Inc., and chairman of E57.03. “ASTM E2641 takes the operator and user through a step-by-step process to develop a suitable safety program for their intended application.”

According to Knaak, developing a safety standard was the first priority for the subcommittee. Knaak says the standard was developed with the knowledge that it will be serving the many types of industries that employ 3-D imaging systems.

“ASTM E2641 was written in such a way as to be easily understood and flexible,” says Knaak. “The subcommittee recognized that, given the diversity of applications, no single specific safety guidelines would be appropriate.”

The new standard presents a practical approach to the safe operation of 3-D imaging systems as well as information on the development of safety plans specific to an industry or site.

“It is an easily read and understood document that guides the user through the process but does not dictate a specific approach,” says Knaak. “We foresee ASTM E2641 facilitating a common dialogue among all parties concerned with the safe application of these systems. Both service providers and their customers can follow a basic set of guidelines in the development and evaluation of a safety plan, or more simply in the safe application of such equipment in their respective environments.”

With ASTM E2641 now approved, E57.03 is developing a proposed new standard, WK28005, "Guide for the Definition of 3-D Image Data Requirements Necessary to Meet Project Objectives." Suppliers and users of 3-D image data, specifically those responsible for technical output and with knowledge of cost and benefits, are encouraged to participate in the ongoing development of WK28005.

For more information, visit www.astm.org.


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ASTM International

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence within R&D, product testing, quality systems, and commercial transactions. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance, and transparency.