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ASTA Guide for Users

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​What do I need to do to use lasers at ASTA?

Answer Collapse/Expand Text:

If you are using class 2 or class 3R lasers then no training is required though we do ask that you are cognizent of laser safety and understand the hazards and best operating practices. Your home institution or other lab may have already trained you adequately. If not, if lasers are new to you, then we do have training here at SLAC. Check with the User Manager (Christine Clarke) or the FACET&TF safety officer (John Seabury) who can assign the best course to you. Our standard (voluntary) laser safety course is [132] - Laser Safety Basics (Resource).
If you are using a Class 4 laser, then training is definitely required.
Please be certain that you will be working with a class 4 laser before embarking on this. We have a policy at SLAC not to take laser training "just in case" as there is a huge amount of responsibility to being a QLO (qualified laser operator). Any laser incident is a big deal and can jeopardise all programs at SLAC! I want you to be fully aware that laser safety training is the most difficult of any SLAC training. However, it is of course rewarding to be able to do the laser work! The training is sometimes grueling but also informative and you can learn a lot and add to the success of your experiments.
You will need to get a Windows computing account and request approval for the ASTA laser lab:
You will need to take laser training.
The online course is [253] - Laser Worker Safety Training. Do this first.
Online courses can be taken using the webtools here:
There is a classroom course  ([131] - Laser Accidents & Lessons Learned). This is given once a month. Register for it using the SLAC Training System. If there aren't any appropriate classes for your dates, get in contact with the User Manager (Christine Clarke) or talk directly to the Laser Safety Officer Mike Woods (who is the primary trainer for this class). It's possible to arrange a special class (and it's better to have multiple people so please organise it with your co-workers to take it all at the same time).
You will also need to do a medical exam ([253ME] - Laser Worker Baseline Medical Exam). Schedule this for when you come to SLAC by calling SLAC medical on ext. 2281 (that's 650 926 2281 if calling from off-site). The course description says that you need your home institution to do the exam but  SLAC Medical have generally been able to do it for non-employees too. More details on this exam are below.
There is also a practical ([253PRA] - Laser Alignment Safety Practical). It would be beneficial to do 253PRA at the same time as other colleagues. Usually the SLSO of the laser room/facility will give this practical. For ASTA, the SLSOs are Stephen Weathersby and Jeff Corbett. Organise training directly with the SLSO (it's important that you develop a relationship with them).
Other labs have different SLSOs. If you need to work in a laserr lab other than ASTA, request approval using the tool:
After this you need to do site-specific training for your laser room/facility (email the SLSOs to arrange this). Please read the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) prior to this. For ASTA, the SOP is here. For other labs, the SLSO can provide a link to the SOP.
Finally you need to have an interview with the Laser Safety Officer (Mike Woods- mwoods@SLAC.Stanford.EDU). The interview usually takes 30 minutes. You should organise this when the other items are complete on the check-list. Usually, Mike Woods is the instructor for course 131 and a follow-up interview can be arranged by talking to Mike during this class room course.
253ME course description:
Please contact the medical department at ext. 2281 (that is 650 926 2281 from outside of SLAC) to make an appointment to take this exam. Approximately 1 week notification is requested for scheduling.
 1. This exam is mandatory for personnel who operate Class 3B or Class 4 lasers. It is also required following any suspected laser-induced injury. A voluntary 253ME exit exam is offered to SLAC employees upon termination of employment.
 2. For non-employees, home institutions can perform the required medical eye exam and send results to the SLAC Medical Department for review. The non-employee then needs to contact SLAC Medical to set up a short appointment for obtaining 253ME clearance. Alternately, SLAC medical will perform the exam.
253ME exams include: Review of ocular history
Visual acuity test
Amsler grid test
Color vision test
If the results of the above review and tests are normal, no further tests are required. If an abnormality is found, an additional funduscopic exam may be required.
253PRA description:
Training is provided by a System Laser Safety Officer (SLSO), who has received instruction on how to provide this course.
Please contact the SLSO for your area to arrange completion of this requirement.
The length of this course is 1 to 3 hours depending on the skill level of persons receiving the training.
Qualified Laser Operators who do not work directly with laser beams or optics are not required to take this course (examples may be QLOs who provide specialized support for computers, rf, electronics, etc.).

​What do I do if I need out of hours access?

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All personnel who require after hours access to the test lab department in Building 044 need to take specific training. The training communicates safety hazards and alarm protocols for working off hours in the test lab department.




Course Details

Course 450

Length: 1 hour
Retraining: None required
To communicate safety hazards and alarm protocols for working off hours in the test lab department.
Course 450PRA
Length: 1 hour
Retraining: None required

To include basic operating procedures, work planning and control, and hazards and safety precautions. Course 450PRA will allow the student to demonstrate they understand the expected alarm response, give them a tour of the facility, and show them the location of alarms and call lists.

If you believe you need out of hours access and this hasn't already been arranged, speak to Stephen Weathersby and ask your supervisor to add the courses to your training assignment.

SLAC SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Dept. of Energy