Stanford Univeristy Laser Safety Program



This policy is designed to ensure the safe use of laser systems at Stanford University. This policy does not include the use of laser systems at Stanford Hospital

This policy applies to all faculty, staff students and visitors at the University that use lasers.


The Office of Health Physics at Environmental Health Safety (EH&S) assists Principal Investigators in maintaining a comprehensive laser safety program. Services include registration of lasers and laser workers, initial and periodic laser safety inspections, training, coordination of baseline eye examinations, and provide required laser warning signs.

The "Laser Safety Officer" (LSO) is the individual responsible for monitoring laser use and safety. The LSO is authorized to conduct unannounced inspections and provide training.

Principal Investigators are responsible for wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, attending training, training their staff, developing SOP's for their particular laser and conducting laser activities in a safe manner. The PI is also responsible for assuring all laser users under their supervision are properly trained and conduct laser activities in a safe manner. The PI ensures that the annual self laser safety inspection is competed and corrective actions are taken.

Laser users are responsible for wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, attending training, following PI's SOP's and conducting laser activities in a safe manner.

It is recommended that each registered user of a Class 3b or Class 4 laser is responsible for obtaining a base line laser eye exam. Fill out the form on the web

The Stanford University Occupational Health Center conducts eye examinations.


3.1   Stanford University Laser Safety Manual(SULSM)
The LSO at Health Physics in EH&S has revised the Stanford University Laser Safety Policies and Procedures 1990 (SULSPP) and describing the programs in detail and
is regularly updated.

3.2   Eye Exams
A baseline eye exam establishes a baseline against which ocular damage may be measured. These examinations are performed by the Stanford University Occupational Health Center. Eye examinations are also required for laser workers in the event of any accidental or suspected eye exposure to laser radiation, a thorough eye examination is conducted.

3.3  Laser Inventory and Registration
All Class 3 and 4 lasers and users must be registered with Health Physics Department at EH&S.

3.4   Hazard Controls
Applicable hazard controls are described in the Laser Safety Manual (SULSM), depending upon the laser classification and operating conditions. All users are required to abide by the safety procedures and controls set out in the Laser Safety Manual.

3.5   Laser Safety Inspections
Periodic inspections are conducted of all Class 3b and Class 4 lasers by Health Physicist under the supervision of the LSO. Annual self inspection of the laser lab are conducted by lab personnel.

3.6   Laser Safety Training
All persons who work with lasers are required to receive laser safety training from Department of Health Physics. Users must also receive hands on training from the Principal Investigator or from personnel assigned by the Principal Investigator.

3.7   Laser Incidents
Any exposure incident involving lasers must be immediately reported to the Laser Safety Officer, call Health Physics office at 3-3201.

3.8   Record Keeping
Training records, inventory and registration documentation, incident reports, inspection reports and records of individual eye exams are maintained by Health Physics. Records of annual self inspection, records of hands on training, SOPs, a copy of laser inventories are all maintained in the laser journal of each PI.


The documents listed below may be obtained from the department of Health Physics at Environmental Health and Safety:

  • Stanford University Laser Safety Manual-2005
  • ANSI Z136.1-2014, “American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers”
  • ANSI Z136.4-2010, "American National Standard Recommended Practice for Laser Safety Measurements for Hazard Evaluation"
  • ANSI Z136.5-2009, "American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions"
  • Personal Protective Equipment Information
  • Training materials
  • ANSI approved warning signs