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Environmental Health & Safety

Laboratory Safety Unit

Laser Safety for Research and Teaching Laboratories

Lasers can present hazards that include but are not limited to eye injury from direct or reflected beams, exposure to high power voltage power supplies used, the inhalation of vapors and particulates that may be released, inhalation to gases used, exposure to carcinogenic dyes, intense noises, as well as skin damage from exposure to direct or reflected beams.

Laser use at UR occurs in both the research setting and the clinical patient setting. In general, use of lasers require the following:

  • Laser registration with EH&S
  • Laser training for users
  • Laser controls
  • Signage
  • PPE
  • Incident response
  • Periodic inspections


To view the Clinical Laser Safety Policy for medical lasers managed by the Radiation Safety Unit, use this password protected link:

To view the most recent edition of the "Laser Safety Program for Research and Teaching Laboratories" - use this link:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY for Research Lab Program:

This program is for both staff and students and discusses the responsibilities, training requirements, laser classifications, laser registration, and workplace recommendations/requirements for lasers. The program also addresses actions to prevent exposures and what to do should an exposure occur. This revision removes the required for laser eye examinations before lasers are used but retains any post exposure medical examinations. Please note that LLE has their own standalone program, registration, surveys, and training programs.

MAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR Class 3B and Class 4 LASER USE (Please see Program Manual for complete requirements):

  • Laser Registration: Each Class 3B and4 laser used at your location must be registered with EH&S. The form to be used is available at .
  • Laser Safety Inspection: The local laser safety officer or the PI/lab manager is to complete a safety inspection audit for the laser and retain the audit in the lab's safety notebook. The form is available at
  • Laser Safety Training: All personnel using lasers or who have been assigned space within a laser lab are to participate in a laser safety training program. There are two options for training. Please review the information below to verify you are taking the proper training program.
    • Personnel at LLE (staff members at LLE, visiting scientists using the facilities at LLE, and any other University personnel who may work for another department but have privileges to work with lasers at LLE and anyone else who visits/works on a part time basis at this location) must take LLE's Laser Safety Training.
    • PIs, Technical Associates, Technicians, and students must take the EHS Laser Safety training listed in MyPath at initially and every 3 years thereafter..

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail Questions.

This page last updated 2/25/2022. Disclaimer.