Radiation Protection Unit

Laser Safety Awareness

This Online Laser Safety Awareness course is intended for ALL users of the University of Edinburgh who wish to work with potentially hazardous lasers

Course content

MODULE 1: An introduction to Laser Safety

  • Why is laser safety management important?
  • Legislative Overview
  • Overview of the University’s laser safety requirements (including laser registration and laser risk assessment)

MODULE 2: The nature of Laser radiation and how it can cause harm

  • What makes something a laser?
  • Laser beam hazards (to eyes and skin)
  • Non-beam hazards

MODULE 3: Legislative requirements

  • What are the legislative requirements and how do they apply to the University’s use of lasers?
  • How to apply the standards and guidance to the University’s use of lasers

MODULE 4: Practical Laser Safety (3 videos)

  • Step-by-step – what you need to consider when working with lasers
  • Following the hierarchy of control measures
  • Implementing control measures for your laser system (including engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment)
  • Correct management of laser safety eyewear
  • Dealing with incidents and how to construct a ‘grab card’

MODULE 5: Working with open beams

  • Justification of open beam work
  • Recognising how to work safely when working with open beams


A short 15 question assessment to demonstrate competency. This must be successfully completed before any work with lasers commences.

Suitability and Exceptions

No prior laser safety knowledge or experience is required as a prerequisite for this course. The course is mandatory for all those wishing to work with potentially hazardous lasers for the first time.

 As the course material is constantly updated in line with changes in legislation and the University’s arrangements, it will also be suitable as a refresher training course when required.

 The information provided in the course must be supplemented by local training and instruction in practical procedures in the department before a worker begins their work with hazardous lasers.

 Experienced workers who have come to the University from other establishments, and who have already received formal instruction in laser safety, must also sit this training course and assessment. This is because this training course, whilst giving information about laser safety, also provides training in the University of Edinburgh’s arrangements for laser safety; for which no other training course can do.

Course Access

This course is available on LEARN and can be completed at any time. Please follow the instructions below to access the course.

Access to LEARN

All staff and students have access to the University's e-learning platform LEARN, either direct at https://www.learn.ed.ac.uk/ or via MyEd- both are EASE authenticated and, once logged in, you will  be presented with your own personal Homepage.

All courses provided by the Health and Safety Department can be found in the 'Self-enrol' tab in the top right hand corner of LEARN, then by clicking ' Self Enrol Health & Safety Courses ' in the Course Catalogue section on that page (top right hand of the page once loaded).

To enrol on a course, hover over the course code and click the small arrow which appears at the end of the course name, then choose 'Enrol'. Once enrolled, this course will appear on your Homepage next time you log in.

Course attendees data

If you require information on how to download course attendees, please email safetyelearning@ed.ac.uk for guidance.

Further information

If you require further details please contact the University Radiation Protection Unit.

Tel: +44 (0)121 650 2818/650 2819/651 4583

Email: radiation@ed.ac.uk