Laser Safety Committee

University of Toronto


Terms of Reference

The University of Toronto Laser Safety Committee (LSC) is charged with ensuring that all activities conducted at the University of Toronto involving Class 3B and 4 lasers are conducted in a safe manner and in conformity with the national, provincial, local and University standards.

In order to effectively control laser hazards, the University’s Laser Safety Program requires registration of all Class 3B and Class 4 lasers and laser systems, training of all users of these lasers, medical surveillance where appropriate, and ongoing inspection of these laser installations.

The University affirms that the primary responsibility for the regulatory compliance, safety and security of staff, students and the public lies with the Principal Investigator using or authorizing the use of Class 3B and 4 lasers. In addition, the University (through the members of the Governing Council and senior administrators) acknowledges a responsibility to provide a policy and procedural framework designed to ensure that work with lasers is being conducted safely and in conformity with the relevant Acts and Regulations


The Vice-President, Research and Innovation has delegated to the Laser Safety Committee the following functions, powers and duties:

  1. Approving the U of T Laser Safety Program and periodically assessing the effectiveness of the program and recommending changes;
  2. Establishing and maintaining standards and guidelines for the safe use of lasers within the University;
  3. Providing recommendations for implementation by the Laser Safety Officer (LSO);
  4. Providing expert advice on laser safety hazards;
  5. Approving appropriate laser safety training program materials;
  6. Reviewing and acting on the recommendation of the LSO to suspend, restrict or terminate the operation of a laser or laser system;
  7. Reconsidering decisions concerning suspension, restriction or termination of the operation of a laser or laser system;
  8. Reporting annually to the Vice-President, Research and Innovation on the operation of the Laser Safety Program.


Academic members are appointed to the LSC for terms of not less than two years and not more than four years (renewable) by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. The LSC membership consists of, at minimum:

  1. Six (6) faculty members with expertise in laser technology and/or assessment of laser hazards,
  2. One (1) student and laser user,
  3. Director of Research Safety and compliance, Environmental Health and Safety (ex officio),
  4. Manager of Research Regulatory Affairs, Environmental Health and Safety (ex officio),
  5. U of T Laser Safety Officer, Environmental Health and Safety (ex officio).

The LSC Chair is appointed by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation for a four-year term (renewable) and the Chair is normally chosen from the existing academic member cohort on the LSC. The Chair shall have extensive experience in working with lasers. The duties of the Chair shall include: presiding at meetings, reviewing Committee minutes before distribution and preparing meeting agendas, ensuring that the Committee carries out its functions as set out in all applicable Regulations and these Terms of Reference, ensuring that new members understand their duties, powers and responsibilities as prescribed in the Regulations and in these Terms of Reference, and maintaining accurate records of the activities of the Committee. The Chair shall be an ex officio member of the Senior Management Committee on Health and Safety. The Chair acts on behalf of the LSC for the purposes of conducting routine business between scheduled meetings.

Resource People and Experts

The LSC may call upon external or internal experts when necessary. These individuals may be called upon to attend meetings but do not have voting privileges.


The Committee shall meet at least once per year and Minutes of the meetings shall be taken and kept on file. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety provides administrative support to the Committee.

Reconsideration of Decisions

In the event that new information can be provided that may affect a previous decision of the Committee, a Principal Investigator may request that the Committee reconsider the previous decision. In such circumstances, the Principal Investigator shall notify the Chair in writing, providing all relevant documentation and the detailed basis for the request. The Chair will provide the materials submitted by the Principal Investigator to the LSC members, and he/she shall convene a special meeting of the LSC to review the request. This meeting shall normally take place within 30 days of receipt of materials from the Principal Investigator. The decision of the LSC regarding the reconsideration request is final.


A quorum shall be a majority of the members.

Updates of the Terms of Reference

The Committee may recommend changes to these Terms of Reference at any time. All changes to these Terms of Reference must be approved by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Laser Safety Committee

Name Affiliation e-mail
Prof. Robin Marjoribanks Physics
Prof. Li Qian Electrical & Computer Engineering
Prof. Josh Milstein Chemical & Physical Sciences, UTM
Prof. Christopher Yip CCBR
Prof. Andreas Mandelis Mechanical Engineering
Prof. James Davis Aerospace
Prof. Mark Wilson Chemistry
Prof. Emanuel Istrate Victoria College
Ms. Kristen Cote PhD student, Physics
Mr. Rhain Louis Manager, Research Oversight & Compliance
Dr. Gustavo Moriena Environmental Health & Safety
Mr. Ayoob Ghalami Manager, Research Regulatory Affairs
Mr. Rob Provost Director Operations, Research Safety & Compliance