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Product Code: ILSC2009_701

Medical Laser Safety Program at a Large Academic Medical Center: An Overview
Authors:
Christine Krieman, Duke University; Durham NC USA
Presented at ILSC 2009

Ensuring laser safety at a large academic medical center requires, at a minimum, implementing the applicable program elements specified in the ANSI Z136 series of Standards for the Safe Use of Lasers, as recognized by OSHA, FDA, and JCAHO. These laser safety program elements include a consistent hazard evaluation process, an appropriate safety training program accompanied by hands-on competency training, a document management process, and an efficient means for tracking lasers on site. In addition, a Laser Safety Committee can provide crucial management oversight and support. This paper describes the experience of one large academic medical center in developing and implementing an ANSI Z136-based medical laser safety program supporting almost fifty medical lasers distributed among several departments with many different clinical applications. Problem areas, lessons learned, and emerging issues are also discussed.

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