Research Safety

LASER Safety

The purpose of the Laser Safety Program at the University of Georgia is to protect faculty, staff, researchers, students, and visitors, from potential hazards associated with laser use. The program is designed to both comply with the State of Georgia laws governing the use of lasers found in § 290-5-27.01 through § 290-5-27.06 of the Georgia statutes as well as adhering to the widely accepted guidelines of the American Nation Standard for Safe Use of Lasers; ANSI Z136.1.

UGA Laser Safety Officer (LSO) contact information:

Brian Herndon
Safety and Compliance Officer
220A Tucker Hall|310 East Campus Rd.|Athens, GA 30602
Email:     Office Phone: 706-542-0526

Responsibilities of the UGA Laser Safety Officer

(from ANSI Z136.1-2014 Normative Appendix A1.2)


  1. Establish and maintain adequate policies and procedures for the control of laser hazards
  2. Classify or verify classifications of lasers and laser systems
  3. Perform hazard evaluation of laser work areas
  4. Ensure prescribed control measures are implemented and maintained in effect
  5. Approve procedures and SOPs
  6. Recommend and approve protective equipment and assure proper working order
  7. Approve signs and labels
  8. Review laser installations, facilities, equipment, and modifications prior to use
  9. Ensure adequate safety education and training are provided to laser personnel
  10. Effect medical examinations when necessary
  11. Ensure that necessary records required by applicable government regulations are maintained
  12. Periodically perform audits, surveys, or inspections
  13. Develop a plan to respond to notifications of incidents or suspected exposure to laser radiation
  14. Approve laser systems operations

Responsibilities of Principal Investigators and Laser Supervisors

(from ANSI Z136.1-2014, Normative Appendix A3.1)


  1. Be responsible for the issuance of instructions and training materials on laser hazards to all personnel working with lasers within their jurisdiction
  2. Not permitting the operation of a laser unless there is adequate control of laser hazards
  3. Submit the names of individuals working with lasers and any information requested by LSO
  4. When becoming aware of a laser accident, implement the institution’s accident response plan including notifying the LSO
  5. If necessary, assist in obtaining appropriate medical attention for anyone involved in a laser accident
  6. Do not permit operation of a new or modified Class 3B or Class 4 laser without LSO approval
  7. Submit plans for Class 3B or Class 4 laser installations or modifications to LSO for review
  8. Be familiar with SOP’s and ensure they are provided to laser users


Responsibilities of Individuals Working with Lasers

(from ANSI Z136.1-2014, Normative Appendix A3.2)
  1. Do not work with or near a laser unless authorized to do so by the supervisor for that laser
  2. Comply with safety rules and procedures prescribed by the laser supervisor and the LSO

When becoming aware of a laser accident, immediately notify supervisor or LSO if supervisor is not available

Laser Safety Training

Summary: All individuals working with or around Class 3B or Class 4 lasers or laser systems are required to meet all training and safety education prescribed by the Laser Safety Officer. This includes completing the Online Laser Safety Course and completion of a signed and submitted Laser Worker Certificate.

Laser Registration

State of Georgia Rules and Regulations: Section § 290-5-27.02 requires that all Class 3B and Class 4 laser systems be registered with the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.  A Laser Registration Form must be completed and submitted to UGA’s LSO.  See form for further details.

Forms & Charts:


Laser Safety Standards and Regulations

OSHA: CFR, 29 CFR 1926.54 Subpart D: Occupational Health and Environmental Controls for Nonionizing radiation

OSHA: Technical Manual, Section III: Chapter 6: Laser Hazards

U.S. Food and Drug Agency: CFR, Title 21, Chapter I, Subchapter J, Part 1040: Performance Standards for Light-Emitting Products

State of Georgia Rules and Regulations: § 290-5-27.01 through § 290-5-27.06, Laser Radiation