Office of Environmental Health and Safety
1999, Reviewed 2002, 2014, Revised 2021
Using the “American National Standards Institute Guide for the Safe Use of Lasers” (ANSI-Z136.1-2014) as the industry standard, UAH has developed the Laser Safety Manual to provide laboratories and research facilities using lasers with the requirements and guidance for safe use of lasers.

All University Departments, Research Centers and/or Laboratories utilizing non-ionizing radiation devices, including lasers and microwaves, are required to be familiar and comply with all procedures found within the UAH Laser Safety Manual. Each unit using such devices shall establish appropriate standard operating procedures, using the Laser Safety Plan template provided in Appendix C of the Laser Safety Manual, addressing usage, control, and safety exposures involved.

The following procedures relating directly to the use of lasers shall be established by the Laser Safety Officer in conjunction with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. These procedures include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of basic personal protection, including eye protection for users and observers.
  • Training of employees and students in the proper use and safe handling of these devices.
  • Required registration of class 3B and 4 lasers with the UAH OEHS on the New Lab Start Up form and/or the Project Registration. (Standard laser copiers, laser printers, optical scanners, or equivalent devices will be assumed to be Class I lasers and will be exempt from filing a Laser Safety Plan).
  • Labeling of all laser equipment with applicable Class, Wavelength and Power.
  • Posting appropriate hazard warning signs in areas where lasers are used and a risk of injury is present.
  • Control of access to areas where Class 4 lasers are in use.
  • Reporting incidents or accidents involving laser devices.
  • Authority for the UAH Lab Safety Committee to establish and revise policies, programs, and procedures relating to the UAH Laser Safety Program.

It shall be the responsibility of the Laser Safety Officer to monitor the compliance with procedures established with the UAH Laser Safety Manual and the device/site specific Laser Safety Plan.

No unit or individual within the University may install or operate a laser unless a Laser Safety Plan (LSP) has been approved by the Laboratory Safety Committee (LSC). Once granted, the approval remains in force until withdrawn by request of the applicant or upon notification by the LSC. Alterations (moves, etc.) that may necessitate a change in the LSP for a specific area/device must be approved through either revision of the current plan or submittal of a new LSP.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) is responsible for the review of this policy every five years (or whenever circumstances require).

Laser Safety Manual