Laser technology has dramatically evolved since its conception in 1917, to the development of the first laser in 1960; and now to its expanding applications. Currently, lasers are used in such diverse areas as: research, telecommunication, industry, medicine, entertainment and commercial products. The risk associated with laser use varies from minimal to potentially significant depending upon the characteristics of the laser and the design of the laser system.
The University of Ottawa has mandated the Radiation Safety Committee and the Office of Risk Management to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to address any potential risk. The Laser Safety Program is managed by the Assistant Director, Radiation and Biosafety (Lois Sowden-Plunkett), and the Laser and Non-ionizing Radiation Compliance Specialist (Sean Kirkwood). It is designed to assist in minimizing the associated risk of laser use.
This web page has been designed as an educational tool and to provided direction to users as to the University's standards and those found in industry.