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Home Products & Services Radiation Non-Ionising Radiation Services ›  Laser Safety Services

Laser Safety Services

Laser Protection Adviser

PHE can provide laser safety advice to manufacturers, suppliers and users of laser products. This is usually provided as part of an on-going (three-year) contract but the advice can also be provided on a one-off consultancy basis.

As a customer of the Laser Protection Adviser service you will have access to advice by telephone, email or letter. This will include emergency advice via our number which is available 24 hours a day. You will also receive assistance with written procedures and risk assessments and an independent input to laser safety audits. The service can also include assistance in compiling and maintaining a laser safety management programme as a means of documenting your company's laser safety arrangements.

HPA Laser Protection Adviser

Certificated Laser Protection Adviser

The national minimum standards covering private and voluntary healthcare require providers to seek advice from a certificated Laser Protection Adviser. PHE operates its own certification scheme. Staff are required to complete a rigorous training programme, which includes peer-reviewed assessment of their competency to give advice. They produce a portfolio of evidence, which is assessed by an external assessor, before undertaking an oral examination by the external assessor. If satisfactory, a recommendation is made to the Director of the PHE Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards. The Director makes the final decision on certification. After certification, staff continue to be subject to peer review; re-certification is every three years.

Medical and Dental Laser Protection Adviser

Lasers are being used increasingly in health care for applications that include:

  • surgery
  • cosmetic treatments, including hair and tattoo removal
  • ophthalmology
  • physiotherapy
  • dentistry

In 1995, in response to concerns about the safe use of lasers in hospitals and clinics, the then NRPB (now PHE) introduced the Medical Laser Protection Adviser (LPA) service. The service has been welcomed by a large number of healthcare providers, many of whom had limited training and hence understanding of laser safety issues.

PHE currently provides laser protection advice under contract to a number of hospitals with a wide range of laser applications. The contract normally includes

  • support for the in-house Laser Protection Supervisor (LPS)
  • advice on the laser safety aspects of new and existing installations
  • advice on laser safety training requirements [external link]
  • assistance with administrative procedures, including preparing local rules and risk assessments - the latter is a requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • advice on safety legislation and assessment for compliance with standards and guidance
  • compilation and maintenance of a Laser Safety Management Programme File which details the laser safety arrangements
  • an annual audit of existing arrangements
  • assistance with the Care Standards Act and national minimum standards requirements for private establishments.

Medical laser safety consultancy

PHE also offers a 'one-off' consultancy service which can include any facet of the LPA service, as well as

  • one-off independent audits of facilities and procedures
  • advice on proposed laser installations including liaison with the manufacturer/installer regarding laser safety issues
  • support for less experienced or trainee Laser Protection Advisors .

Laser safety in the entertainment industry

Laser light show

Lasers have been used in the entertainment industry since the mid-1960s. They are currently used to support live and recorded music, at conferences and trade exhibitions, and firework displays, as Christmas illuminations, and in art and laser tag games.

PHE, and the organisations that preceded it, has been researching the safety aspects of lasers used in the entertainment industry since 1991, in collaboration with Loughborough University. This has resulted in practical guidance which is available to all involved in the entertainment industry.

A Laser Protection Adviser contract is available. We have provided advice to laser display companies, venues, promotion companies and enforcing authorities. Advice is provided on the assessment of laser displays, including on-site audits if required. Consultancy is also available for single events.

For further information on all the services described here, please get in touch.

Fax: 44 (0)1235 822650
E-mail: laser@phe.gov.uk


Last reviewed: 15 July 2013