When used correctly, lasers are a safe, effective, and noninvasive devices for cosmetic medical procedures. Ironically, laser safety issues occur most frequently due to human error than any other reason. Devices almost never malfunction when properly used. Laser safety problems will only occur when protocol is ignored.
The American National Standards Institute sets laser safety standards that all facilities are expected to follow. The ANSI standards are the basis of all laser safety recommendations and rules set by state and federal agencies. The ANSI laser safety standards represent the most comprehensive and widely accepted protocols in the industry.
Every facility has a laser safety officer charged with maintaining the laser safety standards. Operators are taught to understand both beam and non beam hazards. Regulations around beam hazards encompass any situation where the light comes into contact with the patient’s or anyone in the controlled area’s skin or eyes. Protocols are set up so everyone in the “nominal hazard zone” is wearing protective eye glasses and protective clothing. All people entering the controlled area must have an understanding of laser safety issues. Non beam hazards include issues such as ventilation, chemical exposures or spills, electrical shock, and other safety issues that could occur in the controlled area.
Each facility is mandated to have a laser safety officer (LSO). The laser safety officer may be a doctor, nurse, or technician specially trained in laser safety regulations and hazard controls. A LSO will post warning signs and follow the laser safety protocols to ensure a hazard free working environment. The LSO checks all of the devices before use and keeps a log of regular maintenance.
National Laser Institute’s curriculum includes a comprehensive section on reviewing state and federal guidelines to prepare laser operators in the basics of laser safety. Following good judgment and adhering to regulations ensures a well run facility. We teach our students the importance of laser settings, equipment, functionalities, and techniques in order to ensure that they are performing quality, safe treatments on clients.
We offer free, live webinars each month where we discuss industry information, our courses, perform live demonstration treatments, and talk about the importance of laser safety. You can sign up for our next webinar or preview a sneak peek of our laser safety segment below: