ES&H Manual



6410 Laser Safety Program



Jefferson Lab has determined that working with Class 3B and Class 4 carries an unmitigated Risk Code > 2. At a minimum all tasks requiring these lasers are discussed with the supervisor prior to commencement of work. A Laser Operational Safety Procedure (LOSP) is written for work considered to be Risk Code >2 in accordance with ES&H Manual Chapter 3210 Work Planning, Control, and Authorization Process.


1.0             Purpose


At Jefferson Lab high-power lasers (Class 3B and Class 4) are used in research and accelerator Operations. This Laser Safety Program provides the methods used to mitigate the hazards posed by optical lasers that operate at wavelengths between 180 nm to 1mm. Jefferson Lab has developed engineering and administrative controls, warnings devices, and documented procedures to control the hazard issues associated with the use of lasers. 


Low-power lasers (Class 2 and Class 3R include laser pointers and alignment lasers) purchased through Jefferson Lab’s purchasing process, are safe when used as intended. 


This program satisfies applicable requirements as outlined in ES&H Manual Chapter 2410 Appendix T1 Hazard Issues List.


2.0             Scope


This program pertains to lasers at Jefferson Lab above Class 2. If the laser class you are working with is unclear, contact the Laser Safety Officer for a determination.


Jefferson Lab considers Class 2 and below lasers to be safe and does not require any special considerations. Individuals are to follow department procedures when using these types of lasers.


Table 1: Required Laser Safety Training for Class 3B & 4 Lasers

Training Course

Qualified Laser Worker

Laser Orientation



Eye Exam for Laser Safety



* See ES&H Manual Chapter  6800 Appendix T1 Medical Monitoring


3.0             Responsibilities

NOTE:           Management authority may be delegated to a task qualified Jefferson Lab employee at the discretion of the responsible manager.


3.1              Qualified Laser Worker

·         Maintain current training (SAF 114O Laser Orientation), and specific training as determined by the Laser System Supervisor.

·         Maintain required medical monitoring in accordance with ES&H Manual 6800 Appendix T1 Medical Monitoring.

·         Perform laser alignment and maintenance operations only when authorized by the Laser System Supervisor.

·         Request an equipment/area hazard evaluation from the Laser Safety Officer if compliance with these requirements is unclear.

·         In case of an accidental exposure to the laser beam (direct or indirect), immediately contact the Jefferson Lab Occupational Medical. During off-business hours, please contact the emergency medical facility.

·         Immediately inform the laser system supervisor and the laser safety officer.


3.2              Laser System Supervisor (LSS)

·         Approve Laser Operating Safety Procedures (LOSP) or justify the need for revision/re-submittal.

·         Authorize only Qualified Laser Workers to perform laser alignment and maintenance operations.

·         Provides specific laser system training and maintains record of approved users.

·         Implements approved LOSP requirements.

·         Verifies and approves service representative’s qualifications for laser maintenance and repair operations.

·         Determine appropriate laser eyewear.

·         Perform Laser Safety Control Inspections in accordance with ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T5 Laser Control Inspection Checklist Instructions.

·         If supervising inexperienced workers, develop an equipment/area specific laser mentor program, appropriate to the class of laser.

·         Maintain a list of Qualified Laser Workers for specific equipment/areas.

·         In case of accidentally exposed to the laser beam (direct or indirect), secure the work area and contact the laser safety officer.

·         Secure the work area and notify the laser safety officer of any near-miss event (such as loss of containment, failure of interlock, unauthorized entry, etc.).



3.3              Laser Safety Officer (LSO)

·         Perform laser equipment/area hazard evaluations.

·         Approve LOSPs or justify the need for revision/re-submittal.

·         Perform an ESH&Q Review on all lasers and equipment purchase requests.

·         Approve acceptable procurement requests.

·         Coordinate with supervisor/SOTR for subcontractor Qualified Laser Workers to perform laser alignment operations.

·         Use Account Code 043-015 “Laser Tools & Equip” to purchase specialized personal protection equipment (PPE) to be used with lasers. Upon receipt, inspect, and if acceptable, distribute to the requisitioner.

·         Perform equipment/area hazard evaluation and provide labels as appropriate.

o   Monitor and enforce hazard control requirements for laser systems.

·         Monitor LSS’ laser mentor programs to ensure employees complete the requirements.

·         Administer the overall laser safety program included but not limited to:

o   Maintains site-wide inventory of lasers and confirm classifications.

o   Perform Nominal Hazard Zone (NHZ) evaluations.

o   Assure proper control measures are in place or approve substitutes.

o   Approve laser eyewear and other PPE.

o   Provide overview of laser safety training as needed.

o   Review and, if acceptable, approve subcontractor’s operator training and qualification requirements prior to commencement of work.


3.4              Supervisor/Subcontracting Officer’s Technical Representative (SOTR)/Sponsor

·         Ensure Qualified Laser Worker’s training, medical monitoring, and other approvals and requirements, are current before authorizing work.

·         Coordinate with LSO for subcontractor Qualified Laser Workers to perform laser alignment operations.

·         Ensure that warning labels are posted in accordance with requirements.

·         Obtain approval from your Division Safety Officer for anyone under the age of 18 to use a Class 2 and Class 3R laser. Class 3B and 4 lasers are not to be used by individuals under the age of 18.


3.4.1        SOTRs Also:

·         Inform subcontractors that Class 3R, 3B and 4 laser equipment and associated attachments/equipment, brought on site, are to be inspected by Jefferson Lab’s LSO prior to commencement of work.

·         Notify the LSO when subcontractors bring laser equipment on site and coordinate inspections.

·         Inform subcontractor that operators’ training and qualifications are required for review by the LSO prior to commencement of work.


3.5              Division Safety Officer (DSO)

·         Approve LOSPs or justify the need for revision/re-submittal.

·         Review the qualifications of anyone under the age of 18 and, if adequate, provide approval for work with Class 2 and Class 3R lasers.

·         Enforce proper procurement procedures for lasers in your division.


3.6              Department or Group Head

·         Approve LOSPs or justify the need for revision/re-submittal. 


4.0             Technical Appendices


4.1              Laser Operational Safety Procedure

Jefferson Lab has determined that Class 3B and Class 4 laser light poses an unmitigated Risk Code>2; therefore, in accordance with ES&H Manual Chapter 3210 Work Planning, Control, and Authorization Process, a formal work control document is required for each piece of equipment or system, and the area where it is located.   ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T1 Laser Operational Safety Procedure (LOSP) has been developed to ensure hazard issues are identified through a Task Hazard Analysis, are adequately addressed, and appropriately mitigated before activities involving lasers are approved or commence.


4.2              Laser Requisitioning and Purchasing

Jefferson Lab has established requisitioning and purchasing protocols to ensure that only approved lasers and associated equipment are used on, for, and around laser systems. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T2 Laser Requisitioning and Purchasing describes how to requisition these items so that the appropriate approvals are obtained prior to assembly, inspection and/or use of these items.  


4.3              Laser Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Jefferson Lab recognizes that lasers expose workers to certain recognized hazard issues; some of which can be mitigated through the use of appropriate PPE. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T3 Laser Personal Protective Equipment provides information on how to determine the appropriate PPE, and obtain it.


4.4              Laser Alignment

Laser alignment is considered inherently risky. Jefferson Lab has determined that this activity carries an unmitigated Risk Code>2. A separate LOSP is written when laser alignment is required. Individuals involved read, sign, and abide by the documents procedures prior to and during work. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T4 Laser Alignment Activities provides the minimum required activities to be performed during laser alignment. 


4.5              Laser Safety Controls Inspection

Laser safety controls for Class 3R, Class 3B, and Class 4 lasers are inspected prior to initial start-up and every six months thereafter for the duration of operations. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T5 Laser Control Inspection – Checklist Instructions provides the minimum process for performing this operation. 


4.6              Laser Labeling/Posting Requirements

Jefferson Lab recognizes that lasers and their associated apparatus pose a hazard.  It is therefore required that they, and the designated area, be labeled to provide warning of the potential hazards. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T6 Laser Labeling/Posting Requirements defines Jefferson Lab’s labeling and posting requirements for equipment and areas; and how to update, repair, or maintain these labels.


4.7              Student Mentor Program

At Jefferson Lab, employees who are considered students by their supervisors and work with lasers of Class 3B or 4 are required to be in a structured mentor program.  The LSS, who is responsible for the equipment and/or area, mentors these employees to ensure they develop safe and reliable working skills. ES&H Manual Chapter 6410 Appendix T7 Laser Safety – Student Mentor Responsibilities provides the minimum requirements of these programs.


5.0             References


American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers


Published by: Laser Institute of America


Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources: A Comprehensive Handbook

David Sydney and Myron Wolbarsht

1980 Plenum Press New York


Handbook for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (2014)

Article 330.3 Safety Training


Code of Federal Regulations 10 CFR 851.25 – Training and Information


6.0             Revision Summary


Revision 1.5 – 03/04/20 – Added near miss language and reporting accidental exposure expectations for the user and supervisor per CATS # NE-2019-08-04-01

Revision 1.4 – 09/05/19 – Updated TPOC from B.Manzlak to P.Collins per B.Rainey

Revision 1.3 – 09/01/18 – Updated Class 3R and 3B requirements

Revision 1.2 – 04/10/18 – Updated reference for American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers per CATS# INSP-2017-003-01-04

Periodic Review – 12/22/15 – No changes per TPOC

Revision 1.1 – 05/20/14 – Added Required Safety Training Table

Revision 1.0 – 12/06/10 – Updated to reflect current laboratory operations











ESH&Q Division

Paul Collins





This document is controlled as an on-line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 3/13/2020.