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Laser Safety
Program

Laser Safety
Laser and laser systems present a potential safety hazard to students, staff, and faculty if the device is not used and/or stored properly. The primary purpose of The Ohio State University Laser Safety Program is to ensure that no laser radiation in excess of the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limit reaches the human eye or skin. In addition, the program is designed to ensure adequate protection against non-beam (collateral) hazards that can be associated with lasers. Non-beam hazards include the risk of electrical shock, explosion, fire, and personal exposure to harmful chemical or biological hazards. Safety requirements for laser and laser systems are listed in The Ohio State University Laser Safety Procedures Manual – Laser Safety Program and the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z136.1-2014, American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers.

All Class 3B and 4 laser and laser systems shall be registered with the Radiation Safety Section of Environmental Health and Safety using the form LS-1 “Laser Registration Form.” Please complete the form and return via email to radiation.safety@osu.edu

The University Laser Safety Program requirements only apply to Class 3B and 4 laser and laser systems. An overview of the additional laser classes are discussed in the Laser Safety Procedures Manual – Laser Safety Program as well as recommendations on safety; however the primary focus of the Laser Safety Program will be on Class 3B and 4 laser and laser systems.

The Laser Safety Procedures Manual – Laser Safety Program outlines The Ohio State University rules and regulations for the safe operation of laser and laser systems (non-human use) and specifies practices to aid laser and laser system users in minimizing their exposure to laser radiation. These measures are taken to comply with documented standards, and shall succeed only when each user follows the actual guidelines contained in this document. While safety ultimately rests on the end user, a number of control measures can be put in place to mitigate the risk of serious injury. Laser accidents may not happen often but the time and cost of implementing most control measures are small compared to the consequences of an accident that could result in a permanent loss of vision, severe burns, or even death.