About ISTR

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About ISTR

ISTR is a relatively small but active organisation. Founded in 1981 as the Institute of University Safety Officers, membership widened beyond the University sector and in 1992 it was re-named the Institute of Safety in Technology and Research (ISTR). Today ISTR serves and supports the individual interests of safety professional in their specialist area of research and high technology.

ISTR organises for its members symposia and skills workshops, publishes a handbook and has an e-mail discussion forum. There is also an ISTR award and a sponsorship scheme. Being relatively small the Institute is friendly and lends itself easily to networking opportunities.

ISTR is well respected by external bodies and makes representation to, and is consulted by, other professional bodies and regulators in the UK and abroad.

ISTR has set up and now accredits the Biosafety Accreditation Scheme which gives professional recognition to the competence of Biosafety practitioners.

There are four categories of ISTR membership: Fellow, Member, Associate and Retired. All categories of membership are open to those who work outside of the UK provided the appropriate standards of qualification and experience are met.

The affairs of the Institute are managed by the ISTR Executive.

Upcoming events

    • 02 July 2021
    • 09:00 - 16:30 (UTC+01:00)
    • online via Zoom
    • 6

      Early Summer 2021 ISTR Skills Workshop, 

    Friday 2 July 2021 

    Laser Safety Workshop for Research, Development
    and Scientific Applications

      In response to member feedback we are delighted to offer this workshop on laser safety. It replaces the one postponed last spring and is open to both ISTR members and non-members.

      Aim: This workshop will provide learners with an awareness of current British and European laser safety standards and their practical implications and is especially suited to those working in a wide range of research, development and scientific disciplines. 

      Learning outcomes: Learners will gain an understanding of the following:

      Laser classification

      - How to rank the potential hazard of laser sources within the context of risk assessment

      Legal requirements

      - Laser safety in the context of UK legislation on optical radiation and risk assessment

      Hazards from optical sources

      - How laser beams can cause injuries to eye and skin

      Laser Safety Controls

      - How to relate requirements for laser safety controls within the context of laser related research, development and experimentation

      Laser protective eyewear

      How to procure and use PPE (laser protective eyewear) when working with lasers

      Laser Safety Calculations & Risk Assessments

      - Practical guidance on how to undertake these vital aspects of laser safety

      Emphasis is placed on practical guidance including videos on laser alignment and measurement of laser emission using an optical power meter and optical rail system.

      Workshop delivery:

      This workshop will be delivered online in 4 x 1hr 15 min seminars, an approach that has been pioneered successfully during the pandemic. Details of how to access the online workshop will be sent to delegates three days before the event.

      The trainer: Dr Neil Haigh. Neil has over 30 years experience working with light sources in the context of scientific research and development.  He has a PhD in Applied Optics from Imperial College in London that is allied with a strong technical background in fibre optics, optical communications, laser and LED safety.  He is an experienced technical trainer in the field of optics and photonics including the design, development and delivery of advanced training courses in laser, LED and lamp safety. He routinely presents papers on laser safety to the prestigious International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC).   Neil is also active in the design and development of optical light source based products for lighting and photonics applications.

      This workshop is limited to 12 delegates, book soon to secure your place.


      09:00 - 09:15 Login and admin

      09:15 - 10:30: Course Overview and Laser Classification Scheme {Health & Safety Basics – Laser Classification – Light Fundamentals}

      10:30 - 11:00 break (30 mins)

      11:00 - 12:15: Hazards from Optical Sources {Laser Beam Properties - Physiology of Human eye – Laser Safety Exposure limits}

      12:15 to 13:00 - lunch break (45 mins)

      13:00 to 14:15: Practical Laser Safety {Engineering Controls - Laser Alignment - Optical Hardware – Laser Protective Eyewear}

      14:15 - 14:30 break (15 mins)

      14:30 - 15:30 :  Laser Safety Management {Laser Safety Management – Laser Safety Risk Assessment}

      15:30 - 16:30 : Course Conclusion

      Workshop costs

      Existing ISTR Members - £125 per person

      Non-members - £300 per person

      How to become a member

      There are two options available to those who cannot attend:

      1) Nominate a person to attend in your place. This will not incur an administration fee and is ISTR's preferred option

      2) Request a refund. This may be considered depending upon the circumstances for non-attendance and whether your place can be re-sold, up to two weeks prior to the start of the event. All refunds are subject to a charge of £20 to cover administration costs incurred by ISTR.

      Please contact istr-eventssecretary@istr.org.uk in the first instance if you cannot attend.