Recent advancements in laser technology have led to its expanded utilization in smaller clinical settings and medical spas, particularly for facial rejuvenation and the treatment of other aesthetic concerns. Despite the increasing popularity of this technology, discussion of laser safety programs has remained limited, mostly to operating rooms at larger clinical institutions. Although smaller facilities do not operate at the same capacity as a large hospital or medical center, the requirements for utilizing a laser are no less stringent. Employers must comply with local and federal regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Duty Clause, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, and professional recommended practices applicable to their business. Although the laser safety officer (LSO) is often a full-time position within larger facilities, smaller clinical settings and medical spas may be limited in staff number. It is important, therefore, that clinical practices establish laser policies and procedures with consideration of their individual needs and capabilities. In this paper, we will define a laser safety program, highlight basic requirements needed to establish this program, and outline the specific responsibilities of the LSO. To ensure that safe laser practices are being conducted at the healthcare facility, it is imperative that small business owners are aware of these regulations and standards in place for the operation of laser systems.
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