Work with lasers can be hazardous if proper precautions are not taken. The Laser Safety Program outlines the responsibilities of those working with lasers; and the procedures and controls that must be implemented before starting the work. This program ensures that risks to those working with or near lasers is minimized.

Read the University of Waterloo's Laser Safety Program for more information.

Laser Permits

The Laser Safety Program is a permit-based program. Before working with a class 3b or 4 laser, a laser permit is required. Work with lasers outside these classes is not controlled or permitted.

Follow these steps to obtain a permit:

  1. Apply for a laser permit -  Contact one of UW's Laser Safety Officers to obtain a laser permit.
    1. Doug Dye x35613
    2. Dhananjai Borwankar x36268
  2. Add a laser to UW's laser inventory
  3. Add laser workers to your permit - laser workers must complete online training, a baseline eye exam, and be trained by their supervisor on the SOPs for the laser before they can be added to the permit. Laser workers who are not on a permit are not permitted to work with a laser.

View a list of online laser application forms


You must complete the following online and practical training:

Online training

Laser Safety Training Theory - SO1066

Practical training

Hands on training developed and provided by the laboratory supervisor. This practical training consists of the following components:

  • Laser operation as described in the manufacturers laser operation manual
  • Specific hazards
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP)

Medical Surveillance

Medical surveillance is required for users of Class 3B and 4 lasers and must be completed prior to beginning work with lasers. The Occupational Health Nurse will conduct the initial eye exam. Contact Karen Parkinson in Occupational Health to make an appointment.

Additional Resources and Information

  • Download a basic template for creating SOPs.

Supervisor information

You will be asked to sign in your WatIM UserID and password.