The success of a laser safety program depends upon many people working together to achieve a common goal – the goal ‘to use lasers safely and to comply with regulations and accepted industry standards.’ In order to achieve and maintain this goal, responsibilities are shared among all involved – the institution, the owner, and the users. Laser Safety at UA is primarily based on information from the ANSI Z136 series for laser usage. These standards are recognized by OSHA and are considered the safety “norm” for laser users. Additional requirements can be imposed by UA in addition to any requirements addressed in the ANSI standards. A copy of the most current versions of the ANSI standards is available at EHS. All UA requirements are discussed in the
UA Laser Safety Manual
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for the management of the Laser Safety Program at The University of Alabama. The RSO shall designate an EHS employee to act as the Laser Safety Officer on behalf of The University of Alabama. This individual has the authority and responsibility to monitor and enforce the control and laser hazards and to effect the knowledgeable evaluation and control of laser hazards in coordination with the RSO and the Radiation control Advisory Committee (RCAC). This Laser Safety Program shall cover all areas and personnel where lasers of any type or classification are used, operated, or stored. The requirements for each area (control measures, signage, training, etc.) vary depending on the laser classification and usage.
Laser pointers are not exempt from all regulations, but they are subject to separate requirements as discussed in the Laser Safety Manual.
Laser printers and scanners are not covered in this program.
All lasers, regardless of classification, must be registered with the Laser Safety Program. All PIs who own or use lasers should submit an Initial Laser Equipment Approval (LEA). Approval is required prior to ordering an laser system.
Information about training and the training course request can be found at Training.
All lasers must be approved, registered and listed on the EHS Laser inventory. Operators of Class 3B and 4 Lasers must be sublicensee. This required RCAC approval. Contact the LSO for further information.
Laser Safety Officer Mitch Yerby of EHS has been appointed as the LSO