When using a Class 3B or Class 4 laser, potential hazards from the direct beam exist to the eye and skin. The severity of these hazards is dependent upon the wavelength and the power output of the laser light as well as the exposure duration. Irreparable damage to parts of the eye (i.e. permanent partial or full loss of vision) and skin carcinogens are possible. In addition, potential non-beam hazards related to lasers may result in serious injury or death.
Accidental exposure to beam and non-beam hazards can be minimized by following the standard operation procedures (SOPs) of the laser system, using correct approved laser safety eyewear, posting proper warning signs, etc. Lack of proper knowledge and appropriate training in laser safety can be easily remedied and immensely valuable to helping everyone work with laser safely.
Based on the President's Executive Memorandum No. D-2 and the Purdue University Laser Safety Guidelines, individuals are officially authorized to use Class 3B and Class 4 lasers on their respective projects upon receiving appropriate laser safety training, demonstrating competency, and submitting complete application forms bearing the authorization name and signature of the Laser Principal Investigator (LPI).
The University is dedicated to providing safe and healthy working environment for faculty, staff, and students. If you are interested in learning more about Purdue's laser safety and training program, or have further concerns, please contact REM.