Laser Safety Accordion

Laser Safety


Contact LSO

   Lasers are possessed and supervised by a Laser Custodian.  The Laser System Safety Officer (LSSO) manages Lasers, Custodians, and Workers across the entirety of NPS by a Laser Permit System.   The Laser Permit assigns ownership and inventory responsibility. It may authorize the use of lasers at specific locations. Custodians may also request that Laser Workers be added to their Permit for their equipment.  All class 3B and 4 lasers at the Naval Postgraduate School, must be Permitted for ownership, and Authorized for use.  The following items are to be completed prior to a Permit being issued for ownership of a class 3B or 4 laser:

  • Take NPS Initial Laser Safety Training.
  • Pass the Initial Laser Safety Quiz (available on Sakai by request of the LSSO) with a grade greater than 70%.
  • Complete a Baseline Eye Exam at Fort Ord OccHealth Medical Clinic.  Contact the LSSO to verify requirements and set up an appointment.

   There are several additional steps that must be documented to turn a laser on at NPS.  All Class 3B or 4 Laser at NPS must conform to ANSI Z163.1 -2014 "Safe Use of Lasers," ANSI Z163.5 "Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions," and ANSI Z163.8 - 2012 "Safe Use of Lasers in Research, Development and Test". Custodians are strongly encouraged to review ANSI Z136.1-2014 excerpts on Engineering and Administrative Controls for the subject class of laser, as those excerpts outline nearly all the site required controls. Once these items are nearly completed, consider contacting the LSSO to begin work on all of the following:  

  • Submit Laser System Data to the LSSO. 
  • With the LSSO, generate a Laser Hazard Analysis (LHA).
  • From the results of the LHA, complete a deliberate Operational Risk Management (ORM) analysis.
  • From the deliberate ORM analysis and manufacturer's instructions, complete a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
  • With the concurrence of the LSSO, purchase the required PPE for yourself and all prospective workers.
  • Have the laser and lab site inspected by the NPS LSSO
  • Supervise any laser workers identified by your permit complete Initial Laser Safety Training, Quiz (on Sakai), and Baseline Eye Exams
  • Administer training to any Workers on the LHA, ORM, manufacturer's instructions, and SOP.
  • Receive your Custodian Permit with authorized lasers specified
  • Start a Laser Firing Log.
  • Store the LHA, ORM, SOP, Space Inspection, and Permit in the Log. Document the Training on the system for all users in this log. Log all laser usage.

Becoming a Laser Worker is relatively simple:

  • Identify and obtain permission from the Custodian to use their lasers
  • Have the Custodian contact the LSSO to update the permit
  • Complete the Initial Laser Safety Training
  • Pass the Initial Laser Safety Quiz (available on Sakai by request of the LSSO) with better than 70%.
  • Complete a Baseline Eye Exam
  • Complete the specific training your Custodian requires for use of the laser systems.  Ensure the training is documented in the Laser Firing Log. 

Upon completion of these items, the Custodian will receive and sign an updated permit.  Upon receipt of this update, you are free to use the lasers as directed by the Custodian.

As a first step to legally operating any Class 3B or Class 4 laser system, a Custodian should contact the LSSO with the following information:

  • Laser Manufacturer, Make or Model, and Serial Number
  • Lasing Medium (e.g. Nd:YAG, He-Ne, etc.)
  • Operating Wavelength  (e.g. 633 nm, list all parameters for each if more than one)
  • Maximum Power at which the laser could operate (e.g. 600 mW)
  • Laser Hazard Class (e.g. Class 3B)
  • Operating mode of the laser: Continuous Wave, Single Pulsed, or Repetitively Pulsed
  • If Pulsed
    • Pulse Energy (e.g. 50 microjoules/pulse)
    • Pulse Length (e.g. 10 nsec)
    • Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) if repetitively pulsed, or
    • Pulse train information if the pulses are more complicated
  • Beam waist diameter (e.g. 3 mm) and the waist location - usually at the aperture
  • Beam Divergence (e.g. 1.5 mrad)

Initial Laser Safety Training - Please contact the LSSO ( for the latest annual refresher training.

Initial Laser Safety Quiz (available on Sakai by request of the LSSO)

Annual Refresher Training - Please contact the LSSO ( for the latest annual refresher training.

Custodians and Workers using Class 3B or higher lasers need to have an eye exam completed prior to first laser use at NPS.  When complete with Class 3B and higher lasers at NPS an eye exam is again required before you can travel to your next command.

  • Contact the LSSO - Scott Giles,, 831-656-7568
  • The LSSO will provide you a form to fill out.  Name, DoD ID#, cell phone, etc.
  • That form will be emailed to OccHealth at Fort Ord as your permission slip to get the exam.  You will be given instructions on who and how to contact OccHealth.
  • Schedule your exam with OccHealth at Fort Ord.  Show for your appointment and get the exam completed
  • Get and save a receipt of the exam with the Doctor's signature on it.  Get (Email) a copy to the LSSO
  • NPSINST 5100.27B - Laser (Non-Ionizing Radiation) Hazards Control Program
  • OPNAVINST 5100.27B - Navy Laser Hazards Control Program
  • ANSI Z136.1 - 2007 Safe Use of Lasers - not a free public document, please contact the LSSO to borrow a copy.
  • ANSI Z136.5 - 2009 Safe Use of Lasers for Education - not a free public document, please contact the LSSO to borrow a copy.
  • ANSI Z136.8 - 2012 Safe Use of Lasers for Research, Development, orTest - not a free public document, please contact the LSSO to borrow a copy.
  • SECNAVINST 5100.14D - Military Exempt Lasers
  • BUMEDINST 6470.23 - Medical Management of Non-Ionizing Radiation Casualties
  • OPNAVINST 5100.23G - Chapter 22 - Navy Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) Program Manual
  • OPNAVINST 5100.19E - B9 - Radiation Safety
  • OPNAVINST 5102.1D - Navy and Marine Corps Mishap and Safety Investigation Reporting and Record Keeping Manual
  • MIL-STD-882D - DoD Standard Practice for System Safety
  • OPNAVINST 3500.39C - Operational Risk Management
  • MIL-HDBK-828A - DoD Handbook Laser Safety on Ranges and in Other Outdoor Areas
  • DoD 4160.21-M - Defense Material Disposition Manual
  • DoD 4160.21-M-1 - Defense Demilitarization Manual
  • 29 CFR 1926.54 - Nonionizing Radiation
  • 29 CFR 1926.102 - Eye and Face Protection
  • BUMEDINST 6470.19A - Laser Safety at Military Facilities and Research Laboratories
  • SECNAV M-5210.1 - Department of the Navy Records Management Program
  • SECNAV M-5120.2 - Department of the Navy Standard Subject Identification Code (SSIC)
  • NAVMC DIR 5210.11E - Marine Corps Records Management Program Manual
  • 21 CFR 1040 - Performance Standards for Light Emitting Products
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