Laser Safety

laser warningThe acronym LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers produce primarily non-ionizing radiation. The most frequent damage from lasers therefore, is thermal. The safe use of laser systems depends upon the basic principles of safety which are recognition, evaluation, and control of potential hazards. Overall responsibility for compliance with standards for safe laser use is assigned to the Williams College Laser Safety Committee. This committee reports to the Provost’s Office. Laser safety regulations have been promulgated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) under the provisions of Section 51, Chapter 111 of The General Laws of Massachusetts. Additional guidance in working safety can be obtained from ANSI Standard Z136.1-2014.

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Laser Eye Exam Appointments

Students, faculty and staff who expect to be working with lasers are entitled to an eye exam initially and at the conclusion of research work at Williams College. These eye exams are not mandatory and are available upon request. Contact the lab supervisor or Laser Safety Officer to schedule an evaluation exam. In the event of exposure of the eyes to laser light, such eye exams are mandatory and should be scheduled as soon as possible.

Eye exams are performed by Advanced Eyecare, 413 664-6736. The practice is located in the Doctors’ Building adjacent to North Adams Regional Hospital. To reach the office, take Route 2 east to North Adams. Go past the first set of stoplights in downtown North Adams (the Big Y Supermarket will be on the left) and turn left at the second set, onto Eagle Street. Go up the hill, and take the left-hand fork (which is still Eagle Street). Take the immediate left onto Hospital Avenue and turn right into the main hospital entrance. Once on the hospital campus, go straight and then turn left after the parking garage into the outdoor parking lot for the Doctors’ Building. Advanced Eyecare is on the first floor up a short flight of stairs. Remember to take with you the form that shows you are getting a laser-safety eye exam. Billing should be sent to Norm Bell LSO, 18 Hoxsey St. Williamstown, MA.

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