Work involving lasers, at the University, is usually about working with a safe laser product or research/ teaching where the laser is part of that activity. The law is quite clear on what are acceptable exposure levels for either of these types of application and under no circumstances should these safe levels be exceeded.
The laser does not produce any unknown/ unexpected hazards and as such requires everyone involved to be completely protected at all stages from harmful radiation and associated by-products.
Laser systems are not treated as an exceptional case in general safety legislation, they do not generate any unknown or unreasonable hazards. From the experiment/equipment designers and users point of view the equipment must be inherently safe when operated. This means that the maximum normal laser classification of equipment/system containing lasers will be 2M.
The essential health and safety requirements (EHSRs) have to be identified for the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and compliance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 must be confirmed. Anyone; designing, supplying, purchasing or using must be familiar with these requirements. The regulations stipulate that the design and construction is such that it can be used, adjusted & maintained throughout ALL phases of its life without personal risk to anyone and without the need for additional personal protective equipment.
Equipment/experiments which are designed, built or used in the University should include safety components. Safety should be primarily ensured through good design and hazards eliminated or controlled at source. In all cases the hierarchy of control should be applied; - Inherent safe design, fixed enclosing guards, interlocked guards, other guards and protection appliances, administrative controls; the provision of information/instructions, supervision & training.
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