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Laser Safety

Laser Safety Management


Lasers are used in the University for many different research and teaching applications. They can also be found in commonly used equipment such as laser printers, DVD player, optical disc drives, laser pointers, etc.

At the University, we control all work with class 3B or 4 lasers (and occasionally with other laser classes) by following a Laser Management Protocol. For details, see the Standard, Guidance, Forms etc under the ‘Downloads’ link at the bottom of this webpage).

Key points in this protocol for working with Class 3B and 4 lasers are:

  • Laser Safety Officers (LSO) in each area will supervise and manage laser safety, in liaison with the centrally-based Laser Safety Managers (LSMs).

  • You need to register for laser work, undergo specified trained and receive authorisation before using these lasers. (see the “New laser users” link at the top of this page for more details).

  • Laser risk assessments, SOPs, and emergency arrangements need to be in place for work with these lasers.

  • Laser areas need to have access control, correct signage and pre-use approval from the LSO / LSM.  Any new laser facilities also need their plans to have been consulted on and signed off by the LSO and LSM.

  • Purchases of new laser equipment need to be authorised by the LSO in advance (for equipment tenders see the tender specifications under the ‘Downloads’ link at the bottom of this webpage).

  • All laser systems need to comply with specific international safety requirements and new or modified systems need to be approved by the LSO / LSM before use.

  • All laser systems need to be fully enclosed and interlocked except in exceptional circumstances where work with open beams (unenclosed systems) is strictly necessary and a robust justification for work with open laser beams has been made and agreed by the LSO (see justification form under the ‘Downloads’ link).

  • Any servicing and maintenance of systems containing class 3B or 4 lasers by external engineers needs to follow the maintenance procedure (see under the ‘Downloads’ link).

  • Laser pointers used for presentation aids do not exceed class 2

For help and support around lasers, please contact your Laser Safety Officer or the Laser Safety Manager. For details of these, see the Contact us webpage.

Laser Safety Downloads