Whether you have just arrived to join our lab or whether you are with us already, these pages give the necessary information concerning health and safety in our clean rooms on level 7.
For more general information please see the Department Health and Safety page here
Welcome to the Laser Safety page of the Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department, Imperial College London. The information on this page is relevant to you if you are planning to work with lasers anywhere within the EEE Building or in EEE-controlled laboratories elsewhere on the Imperial College campuses.
Before starting any experimental work involving lasers you must contact the Departmental Laser Supervisor (DLS) to discuss your plans. The DLS will work with you to ensure that your planned experiments are safe and comply with the requirements of the College Laser Safety Policy. In most cases you will be asked to complete a Risk Assessment (template available from the DLS).
For work involving either a Class 3B laser or a Class 4 laser, there are certain requirements which must be met before you start work. In particular, before starting any work you must:
- Complete the online Introduction to Laser Safety course and pass the associated online test;
- Complete a Risk Assessment for the experiment(s) you are intending to carry out, and have this approved by the DLS;
- Receive training on the relevant equipment, either from the DLS or from someone with “Advanced User” status who is authorised as a trainer;
- Register yourself as an authorised user of the relevant equipment. This involves completing a Registration of Laser User form (available from the DLS) which must be signed by you, your supervisor, and the DLS.
If you are planning to introduce a new Class 3B or Class 4 laser into the Department, again you are required to discuss your plans with the DLS. Also, before bringing the laser into use, you must:
- Establish a space where the laser can be operated safely, and register it through the DLS as a “Designated Area”. If the space you identify has not previously been used for laser work, then it is likely that it will need to be modified before registration can take place, for example by the introduction of appropriate signage and access controls;
- Register the new laser with the DLS;
- Establish, in consultation with your supervisor and other experts as appropriate, a protocol for safe operation of the equipment. This must be approved by the DLS and will form an “Approved Scheme of Work” for the equipment;
- Provide a set of operating instructions for the equipment that conforms to the approved scheme of work and is available at all times by the equipment.
While all of the above are mandatory for Class 3B and Class 4 lasers, some of the requirements are also applicable to lasers in Classes 3R, 2 and 1(E). The DLS will advise you as to the requirements that are relevant to your particular case.
For other useful information on laser safety, including educational materials and information on standards, please see the Imperial College Laser Safety page.
Before starting work in the clean rooms or before starting a new process you should find as much information as possible on the process and the products that will result from the process. And of course you should learn the basic rules of good “house keeping”.
The first text you have to read, understand and sign is the Lab Safety Guide. Please find as much info as possible concerning the safety issues discussed in this guide and talk to people with chemical knowledge and clean room experience before you sign the form. The signed form should be given to Jay Sahote (room 713) before any clean room work can start.
Once your training in the clean room has commenced you will need to deal with the health and safety issues of the processes you want to run in the clean room. To help you with this, you need to fill in the COSHH Form . Filling in the COSHH form for your process will make you aware of the potential risks of your process and will help you to deal with safety, health, disposal issues and accidents that might results from your process. More information on why completing COSHH forms are necessary for a safe working place can be found in this Powerpoint
Information that you need on the COSHH form is normally supplied with the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that comes together with your ordered chemicals. Note that all purchases of chemicals need to be approved by Dr. Munir Ahmad or Dr. Zahid Durrani. You can find MSDS databases on the web or we have a database of the MSDS of the most commonly used products in our lab. If you don’t find the MSDS for your chemicals in our database, please pass them to Jay Sahote to update our database.
Risk and safety phrases are just numbers that might not mean anything. This link contains all essential info in the COSHH form. Some example COSHH forms on commonly run processes in the group are also available. Please do not copy and paste them but use them to check if you have filled in your own COSHH form correctly.
After filling in and understanding the COSHH form you can hand the forms to Mrs Jay Sahote in room 713. If you are not a member of the OSD group, you will need to complete an additional form. Please see Dr Munir Ahmad or Mrs Jay Sahote for this.
Guidance on HF and other specific hazardous chemicals may be found using the link:
We wish you success in your research in a safe work environment.
Dr. Z. Durrani
Chemical Safety Officer