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Laser Safety


The Laser Safety Program is established by Research Safety on behalf of Northwestern University and is managed by the Laser Safety Officer (LSO). The Program encompasses monitoring, assessment, evaluation and control of laser hazards and applications of adequate protective measures.

The Program includes provisions for Class 3b and Class 4 laser products and systems. To fulfill the State requirement of laser registrations, each laser must be registered in Lumen. Once approved by the LSO, the laser equipment registration is included in the University’s inventory and communicated to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). The laser inventory is maintained by the LSO and checked on a periodic basis through in-lab laser safety audits.


Eye Injuries
  • Have a co-worker call 911 (if not available call 911 yourself)
Equipment Failure
  • If safe to do so, shut off the power using the main disconnect

Laser Safety Committee

The Laser Safety Committee has the following responsibilities:

  • Develop policies and procedures regarding laser safety within Northwestern.
  • Review and grant permission for the use of Class 3b or 4 laser equipment for uses within the university.
  • Outline the duties of the Laser Safety Officer.
  • Ensure compliance with laser safety standards, including federal and state regulations, and non-regulatory standards as outlined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z 136 series of laser-safety standards.
  • Investigate alleged infractions of safety rules or improper use of laser equipment and recommend remedial action.