Stanford University Laser Safety Program - Laser Standard Operating Procedure


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  1. Fill in the various fields in this form.
  2. When you're finished click on the "Submit" button.
  3. The data you enter here will be displayed in a submission comfirmation page--print that page and keep a SIGNED copy in your lab.
Laser Operation:
PI/Responsible Person: Date:
Department/ Division: Laser Location:

This procedure shall be read and signed annually by all persons who use lasers listed in this SOP.


• Principal Investigator:

Phone #:
Email Address:

• Laser Safety Contact:

Phone #:
Email Address:

• Medical Emergencies:

Campus Phone: x9-911
In SU Medical Center: x286


Laser Type:
Wavelength: (nm)
Beam Diameter: (mm)
Beam Divergence: (mrad)
Mode---(select one)
Continuous Wave?
Avg. Power: (Watts)
Max. Power: (Watts)
Pulsed OR Q-Switched?
Pulse Duration: (sec)
Pulse Frequency: (Hz)
Avg. Joules/Pulse: (J)
Max.Joules/Pulse: (J)


Operator Responsibilities - Operators of this laser system are responsible for:

  • Attending appropriate training before operating this laser system.
  • Using this laser safely.
  • Ensuring they are in compliance with established policy and procedural requirements.
  • Promptly reporting any malfunctions, problems, accidents, or injuries which may have an impact on safety.

Posting Requirements - The area must be posted with appropriate warning signs that indicate the nature of the hazard. The wording on the signs will be specified by the Laser Safety Manual and conform with the ANSI Z136.1 guidelines.

Other General Safety Considerations - All laser beams must be terminated within the control area. Beam stops provide protection from misaligned beams, and should be placed in all appropriate and practical locations.

If there is a possibility of viewing the beam, appropriate eye protection must be provided for all personnel within the laser control area, if such viewing could exceed the MPE. The eye protection must have an appropriate optical density and/or reflective properties based on the wavelengths of the beams encountered, the beam intensity, and the expected exposure conditions. At the same time, the need for laser eye protection must be balanced by the need for adequate visible light transmission. It is the responsibility of the user group to obtain appropriate laser protective eyewear from a vendor. Laser eye protection should be inspected periodically to ensure that it is in good condition.

Light levels in excess of the MPE must not pass the boundaries of the control area. All windows, doorways, open portals, and other openings through which light might escape from a laser control area must be covered or shielded in such a manner as to preclude the transmission of laser light.

There must be provisions for rapid egress from a laser control area under all normal and emergency conditions. Any control area interlock system must not interfere with emergency egress.

A visible sign or audible signal must be provided at the entrance to the control area to indicate when the laser is energized and operating.


  1. Eye Protection
    a.   For invisible beams, eye protection against the full beam must be worn at all times unless the beam is fully enclosed.
b. For visible beams, eye protection against the full beam must be worn at all times, unless the beam is fully enclosed.
c. Where hazardous diffuse reflections are possible, eye protection with an adequate OD for diffuse reflections must be worn within the nominal hazard zone at all times.
d. Indicate any processes where eye protection cannot be worn to protect against all wavelengths present. For these operations, detail the precautions that will be taken to prevent eye injury.
e. Explain what arrangements have been made to protect eyes of visitors.
f. Program for inspection of protective eyewear:
For this laser: Wear this eyewear:
Laser Type
Operation Power
(W or J)
Wave-length (nm)
When use
is required

(Note: Contact the LSO for assistance in determining the proper Optical Densities (OD) for eyewear.)

  2. Skin Protection

Describe the nature of the hazard and the steps that will be taken to protect against the hazard. For UV lasers or lasers that may generate incidental UV in excess of MPE (see table of the ARC Local Practice). Note eye protection requirements in preceding section.


"All personnel will be required to wear long sleeved shirts or a lab coat at all times when the laser is operating. While making adjustments in the vicinity of the beam, white cloth gloves will be worn. At the beginning of each run, a thorough survey will be conducted to verify that all unwanted beams have been properly terminated".

Additional Information / notes for skin and eye protection:


Describe any beam/target interaction hazards and the safety precautions that will be taken against them. Describe any preparations that must be made before runs. Are target areas in the same room? Describe any preparations that must be made in remote areas. Clear areas or inform occupants; check that persons are wearing protective eyewear. Check ventilation. Position the fume collection system. Check warning systems and security of areas where open beams may be present.

Specific areas to cover include:

  1. Unenclosed beam / access to direct or scattered radiation
  2. Laser at eye level
  3. Ultraviolet exposure
  4. Reflective material in beam path
  5. Other

Additional information / notes:


Describe all non-beam hazards and the safety precautions the will be taken against them. Specific topics to include:

  1. Fumes / vapors
  2. Electrical safety (incl. capacitor operation)
  3. Compressed gases
  4. Dye preparation / handling
  5. Fire hazards
  6. Tripping/ fall hazards

Additional information / notes:


Describe if you have the following procedures:

  1. Alignment
  2. Start-up and operation
  3. Shutdown
  4. Other specific checks / tests

Additional information / notes:


    1. In the event of a fire or health-threatening injury, call 9-911
    2. For other injuries:
      a) Students are to be transported to Vaden Student Health Center for care.
      b) Staff/ faculty are to be transported to XXX Occupational Medicine Center.
    3. Promptly following any incident, ensure the PI/ Responsible person is informed and that the incident is reported to Health Physics EH&S- Laser Safety Program, x3-3201.


I have read and understood this procedure and its contents, and agree to follow this procedure each time I use the laser or laser system.

Printed Name

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