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Laser Safety

Laser Safety

What is Laser Safety?

California State University, San Bernardino’s (CSUSB) Laser Safety Program (LSP) is intended to provide faculty, staff, researchers, students, visiting scholars, and all other personnel that works with lasers, a safe working environment. The program is intended to provide policy and guidance on maintaining and documenting the program. This program also serves as a guidance document for laser users. 

Please ensure that you have proper training and notify your Lab Manager prior use of any laser. Be prepared in case of an emergency. 

Working with Lasers at CSUSB 

The regulation of laser hazards falls under the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 8, Subchapter 7 General Industry Safety Orders, Section 3203 (Injury and Illness Prevention Program). Section 3203 requires that every employer "...include a system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices....”. Enforcement of the regulations falls to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CAL/OSHA). At this time, CAL/OSHA has not developed specific laser safety regulations, but they train their inspectors in the ANSI Z136.1 Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers as the accepted " and healthy work practice..." to use in inspecting laser facilities. 

Copies of the standard are available from the Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) or on the EH&S website

The CSUSB Laser Safety Program (LSP) primarily addresses employees using Class 3a, 3b, and 4 lasers. These lasers are operated under Laser Use Registrations that describe each laser; its use, hazard class, and the required laser safety measures. A LUR file is maintained in the EH&S Departmental Office, ES-102 for auditing purposes. 

Program Responsibilities  

The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) is responsible for the Laser Safety Program (LSP) development, implementation, and compliance as well as maintaining an accurate inventory of campus lasers. The LSO will advise the faculty, staff, and researchers regarding laser safety and regulatory affairs. The LSO is required to inform the Environmental Health and Safety Director of any safety concerns associated with the use of lasers. The LSO must investigate and approve all Laser Use Registrations (LUR). The LSO is required to classify all constructed or modified laser systems, prepare and approve all LURs, investigate laser incidents, and maintain all records associated with the Laser Safety Program. The LSO oversees the (LUR) Program. No Class 3a, 3b or 4 lasers may be used on campus without an approved LUR.   

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department is responsible for providing oversight and support to the LSO and assistance in overall program administration.  EH&S is responsible for establishing policies and procedures for the use of ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation (lasers) per CCR, Title 8 and Title 17 for radiation.   

Department Chairs are responsible for ensuring their principal investigators (PIs) using lasers operate those lasers safely and implement the Laser Safety Program.   

Principal Investigators (PIs) are directly responsible for implementing the LSP. This includes the implementation of specified hazard controls, oversight and management of non-laser hazards, and informing the LSO of any changes that affect the laser users. It is also the responsibility of the PI to ensure that all laser users operating under his or her LUR have met the training requirements set forth by the EH&S. The PI is responsible for notifying the LSO about the acquisition, modification, sale, or transfer of lasers.   

Laser users are responsible for their own safety in the laser facility.  All users must meet the laser safety training requirement within 30 days of joining the LUR (using the laser). All laser users are responsible for following the LUR specific hazard controls and notification requirements and those given by the PI responsible.   

Please submit an EH&S Service Request for consultation or assistance on Laser Safety and the Laser Safety Program . 

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