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Lab Safety Manual

Environmental Health and Safety
108 Edwards Hall
1810 Kerr Dr.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-1981 fax

Laser Safety

The laser safety program at Kansas State University is administered by the Laser Safety Officer with oversight from the Laser Safety Committee. It is based on the American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers (ANSI Z136.1-2014)and American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Research, Development and Testing (ANSI Z136.8-2012). The purpose of this program is to protect students and employees from the hazards associated with laser systems. Laser systems are divided into the following classifications:





Lasers considered to be incapable of producing damaging radiation levels during operation, and exempt from any control measures.

May be a higher class laser embedded in a device where normal operation presents no laser hazard.

CD players

Laser printers


Anything where the laser is fully enclosed (embedded) and does not operate unless a barrier is in place.


Lasers considered to be incapable of producing hazardous exposure conditions during normal operation unless collection optics (such as a telescope) are used.


Lasers that emit in the visible portion of the spectrum (400 nm to 700 nm) and eye protection is normally afforded by the aversion response for unaided viewing.

Barcode scanners

Alignment lasers

Some laser pointers


Lasers not known to cause damage within the aversion response time unless collection optics are used.


Lasers that are potentially hazardous under some direct and specular reflection viewing conditions if the eye is appropriately focused and stable, but the probability of injury is small.

Some laser pointers


Moderate powered lasers that may be hazardous under direct and specular reflection viewing conditions but generally are not a fire hazard, diffuse reflection hazard, nor a laser generated air contaminant (LGAC) production hazard. Controls may be required.

Light show projectors

Medical lasers

Research devices


High powered lasers that are hazardous to view under any condition (directly or diffusely scattered) and are a potential fire, skin, and LGAC hazard. Significant controls are required.

Research and medical lasers


*Users of embedded Class 1 lasers must inform the Laser Safety Officer when maintenance is being performed on the device which will allow a beam with a classification of 3B and above to be exposed.

**All Class 3B and 4 lasers are required to be registered with EHS.

Users of Class 3B and 4 lasers are required to be have both comprehensive training through EHS and documented on the job training. Unless otherwise approved by the Laser Safety Officer, the procedures and design of laboratories utilizing Class 3B and 4 lasers must conform to the requirements outlined in the campus Laser Safety Manual and applicable ANSI standards.