Introduction

The UIHC Laser Safety Program provides guidance for the safe use of lasers at UIHC and helps provide for the safety of all staff that may be exposed to laser radiation.

The laser safety policy is based on standards promulgated by ANSI Z136.1 and ANSI Z136.3, and applies to all lasers and laser systems, whether purchased, leased, fabricated, or brought in for use by others.

Class 3B and 4 lasers are commonly used in medicine. These lasers are capable of causing eye injury to anyone who looks directly into the beam. Reflections alone from high-power laser beams can produce permanent eye damage. High-power laser beams can also burn exposed skin. Laser operators must be aware of other potential dangers such as fire, electrical, biological and chemical hazards.

This manual provides basic information on laser operation and safety practices, as well as UIHC policy regarding the safe use of lasers and laser systems. Beam hazards are discussed in the body of the text and non-beam or associated hazards are discussed in Appendix 1.