Radiation non-ionising, laser

Radiation non-ionising, laser

Laser Safety and Induction Information

(Formerly Faculty of Science Work Health & Safety - Lasers)

Update: New laser safety standard promulgated December 2014, further details in the Australian/New Zealand Standards Page below.

  • For all laser safety issues please contact your supervisor in the first instance or the Laser Safety Officer Dr Ben Norton on x9106. If neither of these are available you may also contact Dr Susan Law on x8126.
  • Apart from restrictions on hand-held lasers (see below) there is no specific legislation in NSW covering registration, operation and classification of lasers. However, national standards apply and are listed below. Any deviation from the published standards may not be defensible in the event of an incident.
  • For information on Ionising Radiation Safety see the Faculty Radiation Safety page or the new Ionising Radiation Wiki (under construction)

For new laser users at Macquarie University, these are the guidelines for obtaining access to a laser laboratory and/or laser system: Laser Safety Induction Procedures

Information for academics and laboratory managers wanting to purchase a new laser system are here: Purchasing Process for New Lasers

Other information relating to lasers at Macquarie and within Australia can be found at the links below:

For further advice on laser safety or clarification please contact your supervisor in the first instance, Dr Ben Norton on x9106 or Dr Susan Law on x8126.

Laser Laboratory Specifications

(Draft design)


A lab containing and Hazardous laser product (class 3R, 3B or 4) not including embedded systems. For embedded systems see note 1.


  1. Most lasers are portable. To maximise flexibility and reduce inadvertent safety risks all laser spaces as per the Definition should be designed for Class 4.
  2. No possible beam path to areas external to the laser space
    1. No windows
    2. Full height curtains or walls
    3. Light-tight door openings or overlapping curtains
  3. Laser interlock on the final point of access
    1. Check standard for interlock definition (AS/NZS IEC 60825.14:2011). METS have a design which meets the standard and can be modified
    2. Clear illuminated sign displaying the word "Laser". The sign should be automatically switched on when the laser is operational.
    3. Video monitoring of the internal lab area on the final point of entry
    4. Interlock override interval can not be more than 20 seconds without approval from a laser safety officer.
  4. High luminosity lighting in area and surrounds
    1. Note that the laser safety standards assume a pupil size consistent with normal lighting levels.
  5. Non-specular-reflective paint on walls and ceilings, non-specular-reflective fixtures
  6. Non-slip floor surfaces.
  7. Non-damaging storage areas for relevant PPE in the safe area.
  8. Safe entry/work area.
  9. Separated work areas for each laser system/project

Sub Requirements:

  1. Reticulated gas
    1. may take the form of Nitrogen of house dry compressed air (compressed air preferred)
  2. Gas detectors for relevant gases
    1. Gasses may include toxic, flammable or corrosive gases used with a laser product
  3. Light-baffle entrance for rooms which run dark (black paint on walls)
  4. Temperature stability
    1. High stability labs - +/- 0.5 degC
    2. normal labs - +/- 1 degC
  5. Humidity control
    1. The atmospheric humidity in an optics lab must NEVER reach the dew point.
    2. For nanometer-precision work humidity may need to be controlled.

Note 1: Embedded systems

Embedded systems can operate in a normal laboratory while in normal use, but need compliance with requirement 2 plus administrative controls during maintenance.

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