What are my Duties as a Laser Safety Officer?

a man working on a machine in a factory.

OSHA guidelines [1] and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards [2] state that your employer is responsible for ensuring the safe use of all lasers operated in your workplace.  As the Laser Safety Officer (LSO), you will have many responsibilities which are detailed below.

The Laser Safety Program

One of your jobs will be to implement a laser safety program.  Some of your co-workers may have only a basic understanding of lasers, while others may be in direct daily contact with and operate complex laser systems.  You should tailor your safety program to the education and experience levels throughout your organization.

In addition to OSHA and ANSI standards, you may be regulated by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the FDA or the Council of Radiation Control Program Directors.  Many states have laser safety standards and regulations which should be consulted when creating a laser safety program.

Although an LSO is only required for Class 3B and Class 4 lasers (and some Class 3R systems), it is important to know that states are creating new rules and regulations regarding laser safety.  Therefore, your state may have specific rules for other classes of lasers.  At the very least, employees working around lasers above Class 1 should have a general knowledge of lasers and the potential hazards they post.

The Employer Responsibility

IMPORTANT: OSHA does not certify, accredit or approve any laser safety trainers or training programs. The responsibility for OSHA compliant laser operator training rests with the employer.  Laser Safety Certification and the LSO course do not constitute a license to operate any type of laser nor does it guarantee your workplace will be free or laser hazards.  There are no special or additional requirements to use this site. The person(s) responsible for laser training and evaluation are strongly encouraged to read and become familiar with the requirements of OSHA Section III: Chapter 6 – Laser Hazards [3] as well as the ANSI Standards at https://ansi.org/.

Laser Safety Officer Duty Checklist

Here’s a checklist of LSO job duties:

  1. Identify and class laser equipment in the lab or work space.
  2. Create and conduct laser safety programs and training.
  3. Evaluate the work area for its hazard level.
  4. Implement control measures.
  5. Approve all procedures.
  6. Ensure all laser classification labels and signs are in place with proper warnings.
  7. Review installation and modification of laser systems before use.
  8. Train laser personnel.
  9. Send employees for medical exam in the event of a suspected or confirmed injury.
  10. Maintain equipment installation, upkeep, training ledgers and accident reports.
  11. Inspect, audit and survey the work area to be prepared for an OSHA audit.
  12. Prepare an accident response procedure.
  13. Approve installation and control measures of class 3B and 4 lasers before their use.

How we can help now that you know?

If you need a designated laser safety officer or for more information about industrial laser safety, check out our courses for Industrial Laser Safety and Industrial LSO certification. At $149 our course is a bargain AND you can bundle with the LSO Kit for only $349 to set up your company’s laser safety training program. We also have an FAQ section with common answers about our courses, certification options and kit offerings. Click here for more information and get compliant today!

We also have healthcare/veterinarian and cosmetic specific laser safety and Laser Safety Officer certification courses available; you can check them for more details at Cosmetic Laser Safety and Cosmetic LSO Certification, and at Healthcare Laser Safety and Healthcare LSO certification. Get started today by enrolling your company.  You can always email us at info@lasersafetycertification.com if you have any questions.


[1] OSHA Laser Hazards: https://www.osha.gov/laser-hazards/standards

[2] ANSI Z136.1: https://webstore.ansi.org/Standards/LIA/ansiz1362014?gclid=CjwKCAjw_b6WBhAQEiwAp4HyIL20fOwcshKYwKpNwoftkGU6gz25zAsuvqODpXm15ucJ9HEmghbcexoCDgIQAvD_BwE

[3] OSHA Technical Manual: https://www.osha.gov/otm/section-3-health-hazards/chapter-6

a man working on a machine in a factory.
    • Absolutely; in many smaller organizations they are one and the only. Our LSO curriculum includes all of the Operator modules for just this reason.

    • Why yes they can. The LSO role is typically performed in additional to other duties. The Laser Safety Officer is typically a person who is already involved in safety program or the training of other staff. It is also common in many organizations for the LSO to also be a senior staff member, or a lead operator or technician.

Comments are closed.
Skip to content