Did you know that lasers produce directional, high intensity light beams? This energy source is frequently capable of causing significant eye damage, body burns and has the potential to cause electrical shock.
At NIH, laser use for research and medical treatments has grown dramatically over the last decade. With increased use there is potential for increased risk; it is imperative to ensure safe laser use so that researchers can continue scientific and medical breakthroughs here at NIH.
NIH Policy Manual 3036: NIH Laser Safety Program provides guidance and oversight for the safe use of Class 3b and Class 4 lasers and laser systems at the NIH.
Depending on the classification, set-up, and use of the laser(s) in a laboratory, the following may be required:
Contact the Laser Safety Officer (LSO) in DOHS at (301) 496-3353
to determine your status and requirements under the NIH Laser Safety Program.
The NIH Laser Safety Program is modeled after the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z136.1-2014 and incorporates other best practices for the safe use of lasers in research, development, testing, and health care environments. The program focuses on the following areas:
Laser labs that use Class 3b and/or Class 4 lasers must post specific information using appropriate Laser Safety Signage. The templates below are designed for NIH personnel to modify the information appropriately and print for posting on their laser lab.
For questions or to obtain access to the database, please contact DOHS at (301) 496-3353.
back to the top