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Laboratory Safety & Environmental Programs

Laboratory Laser Safety Program

Purpose
To establish requirements and responsibilities for students, faculty, and staff that use class 3b and 4 lasers as an educational tool, to conduct research, and to provide services that support the university mission and goals.

 

General Information
A laser is a device that produces an intense, coherent, directional beam of non-ionizing radiation by stimulating electronic or molecular transitions to lower energy levels.

The word laser is actually an acronym for:

Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Lasers produce beams in the following regions of the electromagnetic spectrum:

  • Ultraviolet (invisible), wavelengths from 100 nm to 400 nm
  • Visible light, wavelengths from 400 nm to 770 nm
  • Near Infrared (invisible) wavelengths from 770 nm to 1100 nm, and
  • Far Infrared (invisible), wavelengths from 1100 nm to 1 millimeter

The Rutgers Laboratory Laser Safety Program establishes requirements and responsibilities for all students, faculty, and staff that use class 3b and 4 open beam laser systems to protect employees from potential beam (eye and skin) and non-beam (chemical exposure, electrical shock) hazards.

There are many laser devices, such as laser pointers, laser printers, and laboratory analytical equipment that are not hazardous when used according to the manufacturer's instruction. REHS will note and audit laboratory equipment that have these embedded lasers to determine whether or not these devices may be hazardous if improperly operated or if the safety devices are defeated for repair and service activities.

 

References

Rutgers Laboratory Laser Safety Program [pdf]
Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR Part 1040 Performance Standards for Light Emitting Products [pdf]
Laser Institute of America Website

 

Contacts

REHS Overall program management -Tom Block, or call (732) 445-2550
Occupational Health - Eye and Skin Baseline Examinations - Joanne O’Brien, R.N., or call (732) 932-8254 ext. 221
 

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated: 8/15/06
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