Laser Safety Information
The Laser Safety Program is established by the Office for Research Safety (ORS) 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 LSO is appointed by the Vice President for Research (VPR). The VPR delegates authority and responsibility to the LSO
for the oversight and the enforcement of laser safety and compliance as required by the
Illinois Administrative Code.
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 the Northwestern Safety Information System (NSIS).
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 semi-annual basis
through in-lab laser safety audits.
Due to the number of laser sources and applications in various research areas, a Laser Safety Committee
is also formed and associated to the LSO. The VPR appoints the committee members; the LSO recruits members and coordinates the activities.
Laser Safety Handbook
Laser Safety Handbook
The Laser Safety Handbook is University Policy. Adherence to the Laser
Safety Program is mandatory.
The LSO investigates and reports findings to the Laser Safety Committee. A preparation of
action plans for the future prevention of analogous circumstances is discussed and profiled
following each case.
Incident Report Form
Incidents or alleged accidents must be reported to ORS within five days using ths form.
Training and Authorization
Personnel must be authorized to use Class 3b and Class 4 lasers.
Basic Laser Safety Training
Each potential laser operator must complete this course. Retraining and Registration
is Required Annually.
Laser Operator Registration in NSIS
After completing the Basic Laser Safety Awareness test, this NSIS-based registration must be completed and submitted to the LSO.
Additional Courses and Seminars
Additional Laser Safety courses, seminars and consultative services available from Research Safety.