Laser Safety

Radiation Protection Services (RPS) has the responsibility to develop and implement the radiation safety program at Stony Brook University. This guide is provided to aid you in recognizing your responsibility for laser safety and acts as an introductory laser safety trainer.

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Laser Safety Standard and Hazard Classifications

The ANSI Z136.1 is a laser safety standard that has been adopted by the laser "industry" and military agencies to control laser hazards.

Basically, the ANSI Standard requires each laser to contain a label at or near the beam outlet that states its classification. Classes 1 and 2 are essentially harmless, and Class 3 lasers are such that direct viewing or specular reflections are harmful.

Class 4 lasers are not only hazardous from direct or specular reflection, but also diffuse reflection. This class may also produce fire or skin hazards. Charts are provided for classifying the various intensities.

Only class 3 and 4 lasers are considered in this guide for hazard control.

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