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What do I need to look out for while working with a laser?

You may only work with a laser after you have obtained permission from your supervisor. Make sure you know the local laser safety rules.
You should at least obey the following rules:

  • the sign 'Laser on' means no entry; 
  • for each new set-up check with your supervisor that the laser does not pose any threat to either you or others; 
  • make sure you know where the emergency stop is; 
  • do not set up the laser at eye height; 
  • wear laser safety goggles as much as possible, make sure these have the right filter;
  • never look directly into the beam even if you are wearing laser safety goggles; 
  • shield off all beam reflections; 
  • do not wear reflective jewellery; 
  • make sure there are enough beam dumps to block possible reflections; 
  • during the prolonged use of beams wear hand and wrist protection; 
  • only laser workers may enter the laser lab. 

Safety measures when working with laser chemicals and gasses

  • Only keep dyes (both the powder and the dissolved form) in a ventilated safety cupboard.
  • Take all necessary precautions for the weighing out of dyes, spill no powders, do not let the dye in any form come into contact with the skin. 
  • Keep the balances clean or clean these immediately after use. 
  • Dispose of used tissues, dye or dye remnants and spilled dye in the dye waste container. Dispose of this as chemical waste. 
  • See also: working with dangerous substances and gasses.
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