Laser safety: Risks, hazards, and control measures

Laser Ther. 2011;20(2):95-106. doi: 10.5978/islsm.20.95.


Now that laser technology has emerged from hospital operating rooms, and has become available to office practices, clinics, and private enterprises, the burden of responsibility for safety has shifted from hospital staff to the individual user, often without benefit of appropriate or adequate resources. What remains, regardless of the practice site, application, or system in use, is the constant goal of establishing and maintaining a laser safe environment for the patient, the staff, and the user, at all times. This should be the goal of all who are involved with the sale, purchase, application, and management of all medical laser systems-under all circumstances. Laser safety is EVERYONE'S concern! A laser is as safe or as hazardous as the user-and that user's knowledge and skill, defines how well laser safety is managed. Of all hazards, complacency is the most dangerous, and it is imperative to develop a risk management perspective on laser safety. Proper safety management requires a fourfold approach including: knowledge of standards, identification of hazards and risks, implementation of appropriate control measures, and consistent program audit to demonstrate quality assurance.

Publication types

  • Review