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Laser Safety

The versatility and power of lasers has produced new frontiers in research and medical treatment. Along with these advances is the recognition that there is potential for significant injury from lasers. The privilege to use lasers at the University of Virginia, in academics and the health system, requires each individual user to follow and adhere to the UVA Laser Safety Program. 1

All Class 1M, 2M, 3B and 4 lasers must be registered
with the University´s Laser Safety Office and safety protocols for proposed activities approved prior to use.

This webpage provides links to the various aspects of the UVA laser safety program, guiding you to resources you can use in establishing laser safety control measures in your facility. Locate relevant information for your application below at either:

UVA Academic Lasers (research and teaching) or UVA Health System Medical Lasers (patient care)

UVA Academic Laser Safety Program


Laser applications in research projects across the globe are growing in many areas of endeavor such as physics, chemistry, material science, engineering and healthcare. Many research activities involving lasers are occurring here at UVA. Principle Investigators and Faculty of research laboratories and teaching facilities that employ Class 1M, 2M, 3B and 4 lasers are required to;

  1. Register the laser(s), prior to use, with the University Laser Safety Officer (LSO) via the UVA Laser Registry
  2. Develop a written Laser Safety Manual describing your lab´s specific procedures and precautions when utilizing laser light &
  3. Identify all laser users in your research group with potential to use the laser or to be present during laser operations and ensure each research group member completes laser safety training prior to working in the lab

Answers to FAQ and resources may be found at links in the left column of this page and by contacting the Laser Safety Office.


UVA Health System Medical Laser Safety Program


Technological advances in laser design have created a plethora of applications in the medical field, leading to a significant rise in the number of patient care procedures carried out using lasers. Lasers can be found at the UVA Medical Center in the Main OR, Outpatient Surgery and several clinics.

Any laser used in the medical center for patient care is required to be registered with the Clinical Engineering Department PRIOR TO PURCHASE2. To begin the registration process, a New Medical Device (NMD) Request form must be completed. Contact the UVA Medical Center Clinical Engineering Department for registration.

Answers to FAQ and resources may be found at links in the left column of this page and by contacting the Laser Safety Officer.




1 The UVA Laser Safety Program is based upon the American National Standards Institute Standard for Safe Use of Lasers (ANSI Z136.1-2014), the Safe Use of Lasers in Research (ANSI Z136.8-2012) and Safe Use of Lasers in Hospitals (ANSI Z138.3-2011). Also see UVA: Laser Safety Policy (SEC-011) Medical Center Laser Safety Policy No. 0188 (pdf)

2 UVA Medical Center Laser Safety Policy No. 0188 (pdf)