REGULATION OF ESTABLISHMENTS USING CLASS 3B & 4 LASERS AND INTENSE PULSED LIGHT SYSTEMS: Ensuring good practice
British Medical Laser Association
April 2010 updated September 2012
Good practice will be achieved if establishments operating lasers/intense pulsed lights (IPLs) are required to provide evidence for the following key areas:
- 1.0 Safe Environment
- 2.0 Safe Equipment
- 3.0 Suitably Trained Operators
- 4.0 Appropriate Treatment Application
The requirements for delivering good practice within theses four areas are outlined below.
1.0 Safe Environment: Establishments will ensure a safe operating environment
Laser and IPL users are required to have access to safety advice from a certificated laser protection adviser (LPA). Evidence of the LPA’s laser/IPL certification and experience should be available for reference on site.
Laser and IPL users are required to provide evidence of regular communication between the establishment and LPA, including an annual review which does not necessitate an on-site visit. The annual review should include a safety risk assessment of the establishment which is signed and dated and include a date for next review / assessment.
The Local Rules document must be in place on site, signed and dated by a Laser Protection Advisor (LPA) to confirm authorisation, should be reviewed annually and include a projected date for review.
Unless there has been a serious incident, or there is significant change in the equipment or environment, an on-site visit will only be required at the outset and thereafter every 4 years.
A suitable complaints procedure must be in place. All complaints must be fully documented.
2.0 Safe Equipment: Equipment will operate to the required specification
There is a requirement that lasers/IPLs are serviced and maintained to ensure they are operating within their design specification.
The user should ensure that the service agent services the laser/IPL in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification. A record of servicing and repairs is kept.
Lasers and IPL systems have an electrical safety test carried out annually.
3.0 Suitably Trained Operator: Patients/clients will receive treatment from appropriately trained laser/IPL operators
All laser/IPL operators must demonstrate evidence of having attended laser/IPL operator training which is system specific and treatment specific. All staff involved in laser/IPL treatment must receive appropriate training. Evidence of training attendance certificates should be held within the establishment.
All laser/IPL operators must attend a laser/IPL Core of Knowledge safety training course. Evidence of a training attendance certificate should be held within the establishment for confirmation.
All staff using lasers/IPLs have evidence of continuing professional development training, both planned and in reaction to relevant technological and medical developments. Update training may include private study, attendance at meetings, exhibitions, learning and training events, etc. A written record should be kept to demonstrate evidence of attendance.
All operators of lasers and IPL systems must only undertake treatments that they are competent to carry out.
4.0 Appropriate Treatment Application: Treatments will be administered according to a defined treatment protocol
A written treatment protocol should be produced by an expert registered health care professional (ERHP) which identifies the treatments performed, sets out the necessary pre-treatment checks and tests, anaesthetic requirements as appropriate, the manner in which the procedure is to be applied, the acceptable variations in the settings used, and when to abort a treatment. The EHRP should be registered with the General Medical Council, Health Professions Council, General Nursing Council or General Dental Council, as appropriate, and they must be able to demonstrate expertise in the area of treatment covered by the protocol.
The treatment protocol should be signed and dated by the (ERHP) to confirm authorisation. A separate treatment protocol should be in place for each laser/IPL treatment.