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How Do I Get Authorization to Work with Lasers at the ALS? Print

Authorization for laser use depends on whether users will be bringing their own system to the ALS, whether they intend to use an existing setup, and which class of laser they intend to use.


If You Are Bringing a Laser

  • For lasers of Class 3a/3R or less, there are no specific restrictions for use, but the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it needs to be notified and to see the equipment before its use as part of the Experiment Safety Sheet (ESS) review. Usually no action is required, but minor requirements such as labeling may be needed.
  • Bringing Class 3b/4 lasers  is much more involved. Users will need a thorough review by the LSO and a formal authorization, which will include incorporation of both engineering controls (beam containment, interlocks) and administrative controls (training, signage). Through the Beamline Scientist (BLS) contact, users should get in touch with the Lab’s LSO at least 3-4 weeks before arrival.

If You Intend to Use a Laser System Already in Operation at the ALS

In this case, the process is usually much simpler. These laser systems will have already had a formal review and authorization [Activity Hazard Document (AHD)], and the bulk of any engineering and administrative controls will already be in place. The main issue will be to understand how your particular experiments fit into these controls; this will determine if special engineering control arrangements are necessary for the setup, and which laser user training, if any, is required. You should contact your Beamline Scientist at least two weeks before your run, to make sure that this is organized.


  • Generally, the lowest levels of controls will result if the beam is fully contained at all times when you are using the laser. On the other hand, if your work will involve full use of the lasers including such things as manual beam alignment, then you are potentially exposed to the beam and you will need the full training and authorization.
  • Each person participating in the experiment, i.e., listed on the Experiment Safety Sheet (ESS), must have their laser use defined and evaluated: it is possible that there will be differences from one member to the next.
  • Laser training consists of both EHS training and on-the-job training specific to the laser system. EHS training is given by the LSO and may consist of both an on-line class (EHS302) and an in-person class (EHS303).


For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (ext. 7222).