Laser Safety Officer

The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) is required if dental lasers are being used in the office. The LSO is assigned the responsibility for the office’s laser safety program. The Academy of Laser Dentistry’s "Laser Safety Manual for Safe Use of Dental Lasers" discusses the requirements and responsibilities of the LSO. It is important to review your facility’s procedures regarding your appointed LSO.


The requirements for the LSO include:

  • Training and experience to establish the laser safety program
  • Authorization by the facility administration or dentist/owner
  • May be a laser operator or another trained employee

The responsibilities of the LSO include:

  • Confirms hazard classification of laser being used
  • Assists with evaluation when a new laser is introduced
  • Understands the operational characteristics of the laser(s) in the practice
  • Knows the output limitations of the device
  • Is familiar with the biological and other potential hazards of the laser
  • Determines the controlled area and the potential hazard and non-hazard zones
  • Ensures appropriate control measures are in effect, such as using correct warning signs posted at every entryway into the operatory in which the laser is being used, and that the laser signs are taken down after the procedure is completed, and not left up as “wallpaper”
  • Ensures the laser is being operated by trained and authorized personnel only
  • Approves and enforces policies and procedures for laser use, including procedural checklists
  • Serves as the “keeper of the key” to secure the key or device password in a safe place when the laser is not in operation
  • Oversees the appropriate laser protective eyewear availability, use and maintenance
  • Ensures the appropriate protective equipment, such as high-volume evacuation, is in good working order and used appropriately
  • Is authorized to shut down laser operation in cases of imminent danger from a lase hazard. This authority is to be recognized and respected in the dental office regardless of he dental employee position held by the LSO
  • Ensures and maintains records of the laser safety education and training of the dental team
  • Ensures laser maintenance, beam alignment, and calibration, and keeps a maintenance log
  • Supervises medical surveillance and incident reporting
  • Keeps current with safety standards, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 series of laser safety standards, and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60825 series, as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state regulations (or those of the appropriate country) through educational meetings and literature review, and updates this information with the dental practice

Laser Users/Laser Operators



  • Laser safety training is required for all Class 3B and 4 laser users, operators, technical support staff, and allied health personnel


  • Keeps a log of recorded laser use and parameters employed
  • Ensures proper test-firing of the laser prior to admission of the patient into the operatory


Learn more about laser safety by taking the self-paced course, Foundations in Laser Dentistry or refer to the ALD DIY Laser Safety Guide (free to ALD members).


ALD will soon offer courses in laser safety and laser safety officer training. Watch your email in the coming months for an announcement!

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