Laser Safety

The laser safety team (part of the radiation safety team) aims to minimize the risk of laser accidents, especially those involving eye injuries, by ensuring the safe design, use, and implementation of lasers.

Laser safety is concerned with the safe use of devices that produce non-ionizing radiation at wavelengths between 0.18 µm and 1 mm. It is essential when the laser beams produced have the potential to cause biological damage to the eye or skin. (Lasers and laser systems are classified based upon their potential hazard to the eye under normal working conditions.) Appropriate training and control measures ensure the well-being of workers who may use or be exposed to laser radiation.

Our services and responsibilities

A radiation safety health physicist serves as the University's laser safety officer. The laser safety officer is the primary administrative contact and regulatory liaison for both the laser users and the State of Illinois. The officer may select designees from the radiation safety team who may also perform standard laser safety activities and responsibilities.

The laser safety team requires that individuals using lasers prepare and operate laser facilities in ways that meet the laser safety guidelines established by the Illinois Administrative Code Title 32: Chapter II, Subchapter b, Part 315: Standards for Protection Against Laser Radiation. Many of the statutes, enforced by the Illinois Energy Management Agency (IEMA), are derived from the standards established by the Laser Institute of America as published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as ANSI Z136.1-2007, American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers.

UChicagoSocial: Office of Research Safety