Environmental Health and Safety Announce new Laser Safety Protocols

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Gary Spichiger
Environmental Health & Safety
404-894-8847 

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Revamped safety program designed for labs with class 3B and class 4 lasers

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Georgia Tech’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety, through its Office of Radiological Safety, is pleased to announce the implementation of the Institute’s newly revamped Laser Safety Program for Class 3B and Class 4 lasers.

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Georgia Tech’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety, through its Office of Radiological Safety, is pleased to announce the implementation of the Institute’s newly revamped Laser Safety Program for Class 3B and Class 4 lasers.

The program’s primary objective is to provide guidance on the safe use of Class 3B and 4 lasers for all Georgia Tech faculty, staff and students. Unprotected exposure to emissions from either of these lasers can result in serious eye injury. In addition, Class 4 lasers pose a potential fire hazard, and there are multiple collateral hazards including electrical shock and chemical exposures.

Georgia Tech’s current inventory of 450 Class 3B and 4 lasers reflects a wide variety of lasers being used — in applications from precision machining of materials to high resolution laser spectroscopy — spread among 17 departments across 20 campus buildings.

Georgia Tech’s Laser Safety Officer (LSO), Gary Spichiger, along with a newly established Laser Safety Committee, chaired by School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Senior Research Scientist Dr. John Nicovich, developed a Laser Safety Policy Manual and an online Laser Safety Training course, both of which adhere to nationally recognized standards.

The Office of Radiological Safety has been meeting with the appropriate school chairs to discuss implementation of the program.

“Our objective with this Laser Safety Program is to ensure the safe set-up and use of Class 3B and 4 lasers at Georgia Tech, while minimizing any impact to research activities,” said Mark Demyanek, assistant vice president of Environmental Health and Safety.

Georgia Tech will hire an outside consultant to work with the LSO, verifying the laser inventory and conducting hazard assessments. The inventory and hazard assessments will be conducted on a department-by-department basis and will focus primarily on labs containing both Class 4 and 3B lasers. Labs containing only Class 3B lasers might be deferred to a later round of assessments. The verification and testing phase is expected to begin later this fall.

All laser documents, including registration forms, the Laser Safety Policy Manual, and the online Laser Safety Training can be accessed at http://www.ors.gatech.edu/laser

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Institute and Campus
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Keywords
EHS, lasers, radiological safety, safety
Status
  • Created By: Michael Hagearty
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 15, 2010 - 6:23am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:07pm