Research Policy Handbook


Laser Safety

Policy Contact

Now in Policy Details

Describes responsibilities and procedures for laser safety at Stanford.

1. Principal Investigator Accountability

The basic accountability for safety and compliance with regulations and safety standards at Stanford rests with the PI, Lab Director, or class instructor. With regard to the use of lasers, the PI has the following responsibilities:

  • To register with Health Physics all Class 3b and 4 lasers, whether procured from vendors or fabricated at Stanford
  • To notify the University of intent to acquire or fabricate a Class 3B or 4 laser by notation on the Proposal Development & Routing Form (PDRF), which replaced the former paper (SU-42) form for externally sponsored projects
  • To ensure that users are given both general and job-specific laser safety training - to provide preplacement eye examinations upon request of persons who may be exposed to Class 3b or 4 laser beams
  • To meet requirements for posting, access controls, and eye protection

2. Budget for Laser Safety Expenses

Where applicable, proposed budgets submitted with funding requests must include items to fund needed facility modifications, personal protective equipment, and other safety expenses associated with the proposed project.

3. Guidance for Safe Operation

It is also the responsibility of the persons performing work with lasers to operate the laser in a safe manner, to observe procedures outlined in the Stanford "Laser Safety Manual" and in the rules promulgated in specific labs.

The Administrative Panel on Radiological Safety (APRS), which reports to the President, has responsibility to oversee the safe use of lasers on campus, including review and recommendation of laser safety practices and auditing compliance with laser safety standards.

4. Compliance Authorities

The Office of Health Physics provides support for the Administrative Panel and inspects for compliance with regulations and standards.

The Radiation Safety Office has been delegated authority to suspend the use of a laser system, pending review by the Administrative Panel, if it is deemed to present a clear and present danger to health and safety.