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Laser Safety Policy for Department of Earth Sciences

The Department requires that all lasers are operated and managed safely and according to the codes presented in the latest edition of the University document ‘The Safe Use of Lasers’ (currently 4th Edition, September 2012, HSD013R (rev4)). The Department appoints a Laser Safety Officer (LSO) to implement this policy. The LSO will report to the Head of Department and to the Departmental Safety Committee and he/she will also attend the regular meetings of University LSOs organised by University Health and Safety Division.

The Department expects the following duties and responsibilities from those using or administering laser systems in the Department.

The LSO shall:

  1. Be aware of all laser products, maintain records, and be aware of any special requirements or restrictions.
  2. Monitor compliance with procedures for ensuring safe laser use, maintain appropriate written records and take immediate and appropriate action in respect of any non-compliance or apparent inadequacy in such procedures.
  3. Ensure that research supervisors have Risk Assessments and Local Rules in place for Class 3 (3A, 3R, 3B) and Class 4 lasers and that copies of these are lodged with the Departmental Safety Advisor.
  4. Maintain a list of the number, type and location of all Class 3 and Class 4 lasers in the Department and make this available for the annual safety report.
  5. Authorise the use of Class 3 and Class 4 lasers by a member of the Department through the signature of a Laser Authorisation Form. Maintain a list of authorised users and ensure training records held by DSO are updated.
  6. Arrange to be notified of any purchase or loan that results in new laser equipment (including higher class embedded lasers) entering the Department or on site servicing of laser equipment.
  7. Ensure that Risk Assessments and Local Rules are reviewed regularly (annually) and revised if needed.

Members of the Department using class 3 and class 4 lasers should commence work only when they have been authorised by the LSO and are in possession of a signed Laser Authorisation Form.

They should:

  1. Consult the LSO or the University Laser Safety Officer as early as possible in the planning stage if they wish to bring into service a new laser or make significant changes to an existing laser system or working practices associated with an existing laser.
  2. Carry out a risk assessment of the laser use.
  3. Contact the Occupational Health Service if they have a pre-existing condition that may be affected by work with ultra-violet or laser radiation.
  4. Complete a University laser safety training course, if determined by risk assessment, as soon as possible after indicating that they need to work with lasers.
  5. Comply with the Local Rules.

Research Supervisors

  1. Provide training in the safe use of laser systems in their laboratories
  2. Keep written records of training given on specific laser systems and provide a copy of this to the LSO and the Departmental Safety Advisor (to be included in the individual’s safety training record).
  3. Ensure risk assessments are reviewed regularly (annually).
  4. Ensure local rules are in place and reviewed regularly with contingency for maintenance operations.
  5. Inform the LSO of any on site maintenance or repair

Lasers of Class 2 and Below

Laser Rangefinders
Field risk assessments should include an assessment of the use of laser rangefinders.

Laser Pointers
The Department requires that all laser pointers conform to the standards laid down in the University document The Safe Use of Lasers and are used in a safe and responsible manner.

Embedded Laser Systems of Higher Class
Ensure that the LSO is informed of any on-site maintenance or repair that may require risk assessment and access restrictions to the laser location.

Nov 2012