Skip to main content

New laser users


I'm going to be using lasers in the university, what do I need to do?

I will be using Class 1, Class 1M, Class 2, Class 2M or Class 3R lasers:

These lasers products are considered safe provided that they are used in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines and you don't modify or refocus beams. Class 1, 1M, 2, 2M, 3R products can be used by any person (including undergraduates) providing they have had an induction on the proper use of the equipment. There is no need to register for laser work or receive laser training.
Note: Equipment that has embedded class 3B or 4 lasers, but the laser beam is inaccessible to users are considered to be class 1 products and registration/training is not required (e.g. DVD drives use class 3B lasers).

I will be using Class 3B or Class 4 lasers

To use these classes of lasers at the university you need to get permission (via registration/authorisation), receive appropriate training and complete suitable risk assessments. The steps required are:

  1. Discuss your project with your Principal Investigator (PI) and Laser Safety Officer (LSO).
    The LSO is the first point of contact who will be able to direct you through the process
    Find your LSO here

  2. Register on the VIRGIL system at by clicking the Apply button and fully completing the application form.

  3. Level 1 (basic) training. This is in two parts:

    • Online course: Complete the Level 1 Laser safety training course for new users. This is a basic introduction to lasers and how to use lasers safely in the university and is now located in the 'Radiation Safety Training' area in Minerva which is a self-enrol organisation and is available for all staff and students.
      Enrol to Radiation Safety Training here
      Once you have enrolled go to the 'Lasers' folder to find the Level 1 Laser safety training course.

    • Practical session: Unless you already have experience with using lasers you will then need to attend a practical training session.
      Available dates and booking are here: Practical workshops
      Please note that completion of the e-learning course is a pre-requisite for attendance at a practical workshop.
      Consult your LSO whether this session is appropriate for you.

  4. Level 2 (specific) training: This training is specific to the laser equipment you will be working with. Your PI and/or LSO should arrange the appropriate induction training and supervision for your laser systems.

  5. Once you have completed the above training requirements your LSO will authorise your VIRGIL account and you will be permitted to use class 3B or 4 lasers.

  6. Before starting to use your laser system you will need to complete a risk assessment on VIRGIL which must then be approved by the LSO (or nominated approver). Alternatively if you will be using an existing system that already has a current assessment, you will need to read and understand the assessment and have your name added to it as an authorised user.