Laser Safety and Inspection Management
There are a great many lasers and laser-containing devices present at Carnegie Mellon University. Our Laser Safety Program comprises several different activities:
Laser Inventory Registration
For ALL areas containing lasers, the Principal Investigator(PI), lead researcher, or supervisor is responsible for providing EHS with an up-to-date inventory of those lasers. This information must include the:
- Model and serial number of the unit
- Laser classification
- Wavelength(s) of radiation
- Pulse details (for pulsed lasers)
- Laser medium
- Beam divergence
- Intended application for the unit
Documentation of Laser Use
Documentation of laser use is a critical element of working with lasers. The EHS “LASER Use Authorization Form” MUST be completed by researchers who plan to use Class 3B and Class 4 Lasers for their research. This application contains information regarding the type of laser(s), the proposed use, the identification of possible hazards, and how these hazards will be controlled.
Additionally, SOP's must be developed and posted for Class 3B and Class 4 Laser use.
Warning Signs and Labels
Protecting Yourself from Laser Overexposure
A wide variety of control measures are possible for the safe operation of laser equipment. A key element in this process is the need to maintain radiation levels below the Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) as outlined in ANSI Z136.4. Examples of these controls are protective eyewear, beam stops, protective interlocks, limited beam paths, controlled areas and protective housings.
If you are unsure of the status of your laser equipment with regard to maintaining exposures below the MPE, contact EHS at (412) 268-8182.
Users of Class 3b and 4 laser systems should be offered initial medical evaluations prior to their laser use. EHS has arranged with a contracting medical center to perform these evaluations. Contact EHS at (412) 268-8182 for further detail.
- All laser users should attend the EHS Laser Safety Training class; it is MANDATORY for users of Class 3b and Class 4 lasers (users of Confocal Microscopes are exempt from this requirement). Check BioRAFT for the next upcoming session.