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Product Code: ILSC2009_1002

Reviewing University Laser Safety
Stewart Robertson, Health Protection Agency; Glasgow Scotland
Presented at ILSC 2009

Universities offer a Laser Protection Adviser (LPA) a challenging environment to influence the provision of effective laser safety management. The following are among the reasons for this: lasers are used in rapidly changing experiments and research projects; academic staff and students pursue erudite objectives sometimes without due regard to laser safety and to their detriment; and funding may be limited with a reluctance to spend money on purely safety-related requirements.

This paper describes experience from auditing laser safety within Scottish Universities. Key aspects of laser safety management will be described, including the shortfalls and the development and provision of advice and training to address concerns about laser safety. Examples of good working practice are also described; including the application of novel solutions and unconventional equipment used as engineering controls.

Recent audits of universities have demonstrated that with the advice of the LPA and minimum effort, laser safety standards can be improved dramatically producing safer environments for work and study. It is hoped that the students carry a positive attitude to laser safety management into their working careers.

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