Radiation Protection Unit

Laser Safety

This short course is aimed at those at the University and associated organisations who are intending to use, or might be exposed to, laser radiation.

The classes of laser covered are:

  • Lasers classified before October 2002: Class 3A, 3B and 4.
  • Lasers classified on or after October 2002: Class 1M, 2M, 3R, 3B and 4.

If you do not know what class of laser you will be using, you should come anyway.

The course provides instruction on the nature of laser radiation, the hazard and risk it presents, the necessary control measures, and the application and method of compliance with relevant legislation and University policy. It is held twice annually.

Course content

  • Hazard from laser radiation
  • Biological effects
  • Risks
  • Control measures
  • University safety arrangements


For those using the class of lasers listed above for the first time, attendance at the course is mandatory.

Unsupervised work involving lasers of these classes is not permitted until the course has been completed.

The information provided in the course must be supplemented by training and instruction in practical procedures in the department before a worker submits a "Laser User Registration" application for approval.


Experienced workers who have come to the University from other establishments and who have already received formal instruction in laser safety need not attend, provided that they can show confirmatory evidence of their training. They are welcome to attend the course as refresher training.


The course lasts one and a half hours and includes a video.


If you are a University of Edinburgh student/staff member please log on to MyEd and locate the course within the Event Booking channel.


If you are from outside the University please send an email to Health.Safety@ed.ac.uk including your:

  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Contact details
  • Supervisor's name
  • Supervisor's contact details


A Certificate of Attendance will be issued to all those who attend.

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