Laser Safety

All MIT departments, labs and centers (DLC) that engage in the use of or are operating, or personnel working in proximity to Class 3B or Class 4 lasers are required to comply and complete the below Laser Safety Program components prior to the operation of laser(s):




The MIT Laser Safety Program is established to provide staff, researchers, students and visitors with a safe laser use environment and to conform to the requirements set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulations 105 CMR 121.000, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1 (*The current edition of the ANSI Z136.1 – 2014 in hard copy format is available in EHS-RPP Office.) and the policies set forth by the MIT Radiation Protection Committee.

The Laser Safety Program was written to provide a view of the MIT Laser Safety Policy, delegation of authority and responsibilities, hazards associated with laser use, controls, specific precaution, guidance and standards where compliance is required when working with lasers.

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MIT EHS maintains the laser inventory of all (Class 3B or Class 4) lasers on campus. Thus, all Class 3B and Class 4 lasers and laser system(s) brought on campus must be registered with EHS Radiation Protection Program (RPP). This includes any Class 3B or Class 4 laser loaner from manufacturer and microscopy station.

Principal investigators (PIs) with class 3B or 4 lasers or laser systems MUST COMPLETE the below registration process before beginning work with any laser in the laboratory.



  • Complete PART A and B Forms and submit them via email to or by clicking on the submit button in the form requesting your Laser Lab Registration (new laser lab registration number).
  • Once you have submitted the forms, the RPP Officer will contact the lab to schedule a hazard assessment.
  • Complete Part C and submit it to RPP to complete the laser registration process.



Please indicate your laser lab registration for any amendment process.

  • Add a new laser (new acquisition/installation/loaner from manufacturer):
  • New/alterations to Laser Safety Procedure (changes which substantially increases/decreases the number of sources, strength, output, or wavelengths produced, and hazards or alignment procedures)
  • Update laser information/status/transfer (relocation/lab/room/ownership/department or outside the Institute)/deactivate/dispose of an existing laser:

NOTE: Any inactive laser(s) or laser system(s) may not be energized without prior notice or approval by RPP Officer.

Download Required Forms:


Part A: PI Registration Part B: Laser Inventory Part C: Safety Procedure

NOTE: Laser Registration Number will be filled in by RPP

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All new procedures involving Class 3B and Class 4 lasers at MIT require the PI/Project Supervisor to have completed a Laser Safety Procedure (LSP) before starting work. This accompanies the hazard assessment (provided by RPP Officer) and must describe how work procedures will be carried out including alignment, what and how controls are identified in the hazard assessment, type of personal protection equipment (PPE), and what action must be taken in the event of accidents (emergency procedures).

The LSP must be written before work starts and all personnel involved with the work must be made familiar with it and understand the content established in LSP (See Training: Laser Specific Training - EHS00375).

The completed laser registration, inventory, LSP and hazard assessment will be reviewed, approved (with additional safety conditions), and issued to the project with a laser registration number. A copy of the LSP needs to be maintained and posted in the lab at all times. Contact the RPP office for any changes in use of lasers or change of lasers that may affect safety.

Guidance or examples of Laser Safety Procedures are provided here for your reference.

Example of LSP - 1 Example of LSP - 2

Download a blank Laser Safety Procedure form here:

Part C: Safety Procedure


Questions/Help?Contact your DLC RPP Officer or email for assistance.

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All users of Class 3B and Class 4 lasers must be registered as a Laser Worker and receive the following laser safety training prior operating any laser.

I. EHS00371c: Laser Safety Training

This basic laser safety course is offered by the EHS Office via the MIT Learning Center. Print, sign, and bring the Laser Worker Registration form to the RPP Officer/ trainer during the EHS00371c course.

Laser Worker Registration

II. EHS00375: Laser Specific Training

This training is provided by the PI or an experienced laser user in the lab. The training should include the basic operation of the laser, its associated systems and a focus on the established Laser Safety Procedures of each laser in the lab. Laser Workers, who have completed the laser specific training and read the Laser Safety Procedure (LSP), must sign and submit the Laser Specific Training Record to EHS Coordinator or to the EHS Office.


Specific Training Record

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The ANSI Standard (ANSI Z136.1) has made baseline and termination eye exams optional. Eye exams are required for incidents or for cause conditions. However, MIT strongly encourages baseline eye examinations for all faculty, staff, researchers and students working with open beam Class 4 lasers or laser systems.

In the event of any accidental or suspected eye exposure to laser radiation, proceed immediately to the MIT Medical Department for a thorough eye examination by the ophthalmologist.

For initial/baseline eye examination:

§ Print out the below form and obtain the RPP Officer’s signature for approval for the baseline eye examination.

§ Follow the instruction listed in the form.


Laser Eye Examination

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Upon receipt of the completed forms (Part A and Part B), the RPP Officer will conduct a laser hazard assessment. The PI/Project Supervisor should incorporate this safety assessment into their Laser Safety Procedure. The RPP Officer will affix a sticker to the laser or laser system to document completion of the hazard evaluation process.

In addition, the RPP Officer will perform periodic audits or inspections in each DLC to ensure that the guidelines for safe working are being followed. During these visits, the RPP Officer will review the hazards and the LSP to ensure it is complete and up to date. Recommendations for corrective action may be made and will be addressed in a report if necessary.


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1. Shut off the laser immediately and remove the interlock key.

2. If possible, alert everyone to exit the lab.

3. In case of exposure or suspected exposure to laser radiation, proceed immediately to MIT Medical.

4. In the event of fire or health threatening injuries, call 100 or 617-253-1212.

5. Promptly following any incident, ensure the PI and/or laser supervisor is informed.

6. Contact the EHS- Radiation Protection Program Office (2-3477; x100 from campus phone or 617-253-1212 from cell phone) to report the incident.


Note: All incidents must be reported to the RPP Officer.

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I. Guidance Documents

Lase Safety Guide

MIT Laser Pointer Safety 

Eye Protection Guideline 

Reference Guide - LBNL

Alignment Guidelines


II. Useful links or websites:

Laser Safety Basics

Laser Disposal Instruction

Laser Institute of America(LIA)

Laser Pointer Safety

Request for laser activation warning lights, signs, and supplies- Coming soon!

Laser lab design and construction procedures – Coming soon!