The intent of this paper is to provide a narrative checklist of considerations when setting up a laser laboratory. Our goal is to guide you away from the most common pitfalls we have found during our many years of specifying and installing laser safety equipment.
We believe these notes will take you one step closer to being LASERSMART™, a condition in which the laser environment is constructed to best balance the requirements of the end-users with the demands of a laser safety program, an environment with rational and deliberate economic choices that mitigate an identified and understood sea of potential hazards. Both new and experienced laser users will find our comments instructive. We have organized our methodology in a way that we believe enables a fresh and methodical review of laser safety in a laboratory.