Image: Princeton University Logo
EHS Banner collage (safety manual, men wearing hardhats) EHS Banner collage (radiation symbol, two scientists) EHS Banner collage (biohazard symbol, geiger counter)
Home | Workplace Safety | Laboratory Safety | Radiation Safety | Biological Safety | Emergencies
Lab Safety


Laser Safety

Most lasers used at Princeton University are capable of causing eye injury and many may cause burns to exposed skin, ignite flammable materials, and heat materials that release hazardous fumes, gases, debris, or radiation. Equipment and optical apparatus required to produce and control laser energy may also introduce additional hazards associated with high voltage, high pressure, cryogenics, noise, other forms of radiation, flammable materials, and toxic fluids. Thus, each proposed experiment or operation involving a laser must be evaluated to determine the hazards involved and the appropriate safety measures and controls required.

Laser pointers are not included in this program. See the Laser Pointer Advisory for safety information related to this type of equipment.

Laser Safety at Princeton University

The Laser Safety Program is administered by EHS, with the assistance of the Laser Safety Advisory Group. The Laser Safety Program applies to individuals who operate or work in proximity to Class 2, Class 3 or Class 4 lasers and includes the following:

  • Training
  • Inspections
  • Hazard Identification
  • Medical Surveillance (in limited circumstances)
  • Consultation

Stephen Elwood is the Laser Safety Officer and may be reached at 258-6271 or


Laser Safety Training is mandatory for anyone using or working in close proximity to Class 2, 3 and 4 lasers (excluding laser pointers, levels, etc.). The training is conducted in a classroom setting.

High Power Laser Safety Training is strongly recommended for laboratory workers using Class 3b or 4 lasers. This training is conducted in the laboratory, is tailored to the specific lasers in the lab, and includes an inspection of the laser set-up.

Contact Stephen Elwood for more information.


The Laser Safety Training Guide provides information in support of Laser Safety Training.

The following web resources may be useful:


For a disclaimer and information regarding the use of this page, see the disclaimer notice.
Web page comments:

Link: EHS Homepage Princeton University Home Page