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Environment, Health and Safety Division

Laser Policy

The objective of the LBNL laser safety program is to ensure that no unintentional exposure of laser radiation in excess of the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limit to the human eye or skin. The LBNL policy on laser safety requires that all lasers and laser systems be operated in a manner comparable to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1, Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers. Additionally, the program is designed to ensure that adequate protection against collateral hazards is provided. These collateral hazards include the risk of electrical shock, fire hazard from a beam or from use of dyes and solvents, and chemical exposures from use of chemicals and vaporization of targets.

In order to implement the policy properly while giving the greatest possible latitude to the researcher in consideration of the needs in a research setting, all laser operations at LBNL must be reviewed and approved by the LBNL Laser Safety Officer (LSO) (see LSO responsibilities). The requirements for laser safety are multi level and include engineering controls, administrative controls, and training.