Laser Safety

The major danger of laser light is hazards from beams entering the eye, as the eye is the organ most sensitive to light. A laser beam with low divergence entering the eye can be focused down to an area of ~20 microns in diameter and the energy of the laser beam can be intensified up to 100,000 times. For example, if the irradiance entering the eye is 1 mW/cm2, the irradiance at the retina could be as high as 100 W/cm2. Therefore, even a low power laser can cause severe injury if focused directly onto the retina.

Laser Certification Course

It is the policy of the Massachusetts General Hospital that all medical staff utilizing the laser for any procedure must be credentialed. The credentialing process must be followed for each type (each wavelength) of laser for which privileges are requested. Medical staff who do not comply with credentialing procedure will not be allowed to operate lasers in the OR, laboratories, or clinics at MGH.

The Laser Safety Certification Course is limited to 30 participants which usually consists of physicians and MGH clinical personnel who require laser certification at MGH.

Please email or for the application for more information.

Credentialing Procedure
  • Documentation of attendance at an approved didactic course on laser therapy that addresses laser safety, as well as specific laser wavelength training. The Laser Institute of America offers courses throughout the year on laser safety training.