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TRAINING: What do I need to do to use lasers?

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What do I need to do to use lasers?


​What do I need to do to use lasers?


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 Christine or John Seabury, our safety officer, who can assign the best course to you. Our standard (voluntary) laser safety course is [132] - Laser Safety Basics (Resource).


If you are using the Class 4 laser at FACET, then training is definitely required.

Please be certain that you will be working with the Ti:Sapph laser before embarking on this. We have a policy at FACET and 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 not just the FACET program but 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 FACET experiments.

First, you will need to get a Windows computing account. Then, request approval for the FACET laser room. Don't request the one called FACET-II Injector lab - that is the wrong one. To request approval, follow this link:
The online course is [253] - Laser Worker Safety Training. Do this first.
Courses can be taken using the webtools here:
There is a classroom course  ([131] - Laser Accidents & Lessons Learned). This is given once a month (usually the first Monday of every month at 2:30pm). Register for it using the SLAC Training System. If there aren't any appropriate classes for your dates, get in contact with Christine. 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 are usually happy to do it for non-employees too.
There is also a practical ([253PRA] - Laser Alignment Safety Practical). It would be beneficial to do 253PRA at the same time as other colleagues.
After this you need to do site-specific training for FACET (email Brendan O'Shea​, our SLSO, to arrange this). Please read the SOP for FACET prior to this.
Finally you need to have an interview with the laser safety officer (Mike Woods- mwoods@SLAC.Stanford.EDU).
Other materials:
Area Hazard Analysis (AHA) for FACET laser room:
Area Hazard Analysis (AHA) for FACET tunnel:
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. A minimum of 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, SLAC requests that home institutions 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.
 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) (for FACET this is Brendan O'Shea 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.
People who do not work directly with laser beams or optics but do need to work within laser controlled areas are not required to take this course (examples may be people who provide specialized support for computers, rf, electronics, etc.). We call these people Laser Controlled Area workers. It is not typical that a user is a LCA worker - our users tend to be full QLOs or do not enter the area when the laser is in operation.


Version: 12.0
Created at 9/25/2013 3:25 PM by Clarke, Christine
Last modified at 7/28/2020 7:22 PM by Clarke, Christine

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