Medical Surveillance and Exposure Incidents

Baseline eye exams for Class 3B and Class 4 laser users are required by ANSI Standard Z-136.1-2000.  However, it is the opinion of physicians at the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) and the UIHC Opthalmology Dept. that the basic exams specified in the standard would not provide sufficient information to confirm or preclude a pre-existing condition with the eye. Therefore, medical surveillance for laser users will be performed on a post-incident basis only.  Individuals who wish to have an eye exam are encouraged to contact the UEHC for recommendations prior to scheduling.

If an exposure incident occurs, the affected individual(s) should inform their supervisor and be referred immediately to the Worker's Health Clinic, located in Clinic A of Boyd Towers.  The employee will be evaluated and/or referred for opthalmologic assessment as appropriate.  If the incident occurs outside of regular clinic hours, the employee(s) should be seen in the UIHC Emergency Treatment Center.  In addition, the employee must complete a “Worker’s Compensation First Report of Injury or Illness” form.

EHS will conduct an investigation and an incident report will be written.


  1. American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers, ANSI Z136.1, 2000.
  2. American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions, ANSI Z136.5, 2000. 
  3. University of Waterloo, Ontario, Laser Safety Manual, 2000
  4. “OSHA Technical Manual – Section III, Ch. 6  Laser Hazards”, 2000
  5. “UC Berkeley Laser Safety Manual”, 1998
  6. “Iowa State University Laser Safety Manual,” Iowa State University, 1998.
  7. “Laser and Eye Safety in the Laboratory.”  Matthews, Larry.  New York:  IEEE Press; Bellingham, Washington.  SPIE Optical Engineering Press, 1995.
  8. “Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources”, Sliney and Wolbarscht, 1980
  9. “Laser Safety and the Eye”, Lions Laser Skin Center, Vancouver, 1996
  10. “Publication 3000 – Chapter 16 Lasers” Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1997