A Laser Approval Holder, generally a faculty member, has primary responsibility for laser safety within their research group. In certain circumstances, the Approval Holder may be other appointed personnel.
New Approval Holders are required to meet with a member of the Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) staff for Approval Holder Orientation (AHO) starting work with lasers. This orientation is provided to Approval Holders and Approval Safety Coordinators to ensure that all authorizations, restrictions, and administrative requirements are clearly understood. Laser users and other lab members are also encouraged to attend the orientation.
Approval Holder Responsibilities
The Approval Holder is responsible for:
- Laser safety in the laboratory
- Providing adequate supervision of authorized users
- Maintaining control of all registered lasers under their laser Approval
- Reading and complying with the Laser Protection Reference Guide
- Maintaining required training records for each current authorized user
- Responding to information requests by RLSS in a timely manner
- Registering all Class 3b and 4 lasers with RLSS upon their arrival at the University of Arizona and prior to use
- Scheduling an Approval Holder Orientation (AHO) with a representative of RLSS upon being assigned an Approval
- Notifying RLSS if a laser is decommissioned, sold, or transferred from the University
- Notifying RLSS immediately if an exposure has occurred or is suspected
- Ensuring that radiation workers receive appropriate training as described in “The University of Arizona and University Medical Center Radiation Worker Training Policy”
- Meeting requirements for postings and warning lights (contact RLSS for postings)
- Acquiring appropriate eye protection for the wavelength(s) encountered and in sufficient numbers for workers and visitors
- Notifying RLSS if a laser is moved to a different room
- Ensuring that appropriate engineering and administrative controls are in place as required by the Laser Protection Reference Guide, and
- Notifying RLSS of an extended absence that reduces the effective oversight of laboratory operations. If an extended absence is foreseen, an agreement must be reached with an appropriate substitute to oversee the use of the lasers while the Approval Holder is absent.
Approval Safety Coordinator
Some Approval Holders may not have the resources to personally monitor the day-to-day operation of their lab and respond to Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) requests for information. In these instances, the Approval Holder may appoint an Approval Safety Coordinator to operate under their Approval.
The role of the Approval Safety Coordinator is to act as a point of contact in the lab for RLSS personnel. The Approval Safety Coordinator must attend the RLSS Laser Radiation Protection Course (LRPC). Duties may include:
- Identifying new lasers users and ensuring that they receive system/lab-specific training prior to completing and submitting a form RC-088 to the RLSS
- Ensuring that the new user attends the LRPC before beginning work, and
- Instituting corrective actions, including the shutdown of laser operations when necessary, due to unsafe conditions.
Although many administrative and safety responsibilities may be delegated to the Approval Safety Coordinator, the Approval Holder is ultimately responsible for the safe use of all lasers under their control.