You need to be trained on the laser by a senior person in the lab. No exceptions. You also need to be trained by Robin Bell, the Radiation guy on campus (firstname.lastname@example.org). Before you get trained, it might be a good idea to read the attached documents below - they're also useful as guides/refreshers. There are a lot of safeguards that bring the hazards down to Class I, but inside all those failsafes and automatic shutoff switches is a Class IV laser.
Don't put any body parts in the path of the beam, especially eyes.
Don't put anything flammable in the path of the beam, especially something dark that will absorb light energy and get really hot and burny.
Don't put anything reflective in the path of the beam, like that big shiny necklace pendant, or your watch, both of which reflect light off the beam when you lean over to adjust something.
If something is going wrong, shut the thing off. To quote the manual:
At any point during operation, the laser emission can be immediately stopped by pressing the OFF button on the GUI
Main screen or by turning the keyswitch to the off (vertical) position.
When you start working with the 2-photon, you will also need to get an eye exam to establish baseline eye function and assess any possible future damage. Robin Bell will pay for costs not covered by insurance. The exam should be by an ophthalmologist who can do a slit lamp exam under dilation (or other med practitioner who can do the same thing) and check the status of the eye from cornea to retina. The report and the bill go to Robin at:
415 South St.
Gzang 120B Mailstop 067
Waltham, MA 02454
See Mai Tai laser for more info about the laser itself.
Download the manuals!