Why Do We Have to Use Laser Safety Glasses?

OCT 07

Why Do We Have to Use Laser Safety Glasses?

By cosmick

This entry was posted on October 7, 2013, by Kieran Hunt.

Laser safety glasses can be a real nuisance, especially if they’re dark or uncomfortable to wear. Do we really need them?

Why Do We Have to Wear Laser Safety Glasses?

Laser safety glasses are used in a variety of industries, from academic and industrial research to medical fields to manufacturing. If you work with a powerful laser, chances are you have had to wear laser safety glasses at some point in your career.

Laser safety glasses are designed to filter light. Since lasers produce beams in the electromagnetic spectrum, they are basically emitting extremely powerful beams of (visible or invisible) light.

Laser safety glasses filter the wavelengths of light that the laser produces while allowing as many other wavelengths as possible through the lens. The result is a lens that is colored or clear depending upon what type of laser you use. Since certain lasers operate at wavelengths in the middle of the visible spectrum (the light we can see), some lasers require laser safety glasses that are dark, making them cumbersome and frustrating to use.

If you’re wondering, “Why do we have to wear laser safety glasses?” here’s what you should know:

  • Laser safety glasses are used to protect the eyes from harmful laser beams and scattered laser radiation that could potentially injure your eyes.
  • If you are required to wear laser safety glasses, it’s because you are in an area where a laser could potentially harm your eyes or even permanently blind you. These precautions are necessary to ensure you do not have permanent vision damage.
  • Laser safety glasses are required in certain areas even when the beam is not capable of coming in contact with your eyes. This is to protect you from reflected beams and/or scattered laser radiation, which could be invisible and still cause your eyes serious, permanent harm.
  • Just because a laser is invisible does not mean that it isn’t dangerous. Some of the most dangerous lasers produce beams that cannot be seen by the human eye.
  • Even with all the precautions that facilities put in place to keep their workers safe from their lasers, there are still cases of people being injured and blinded by lasers every year. Wearing laser safety glasses is essential to the safe and healthy operation of a dangerous laser.

If you are required to wear laser safety glasses in a specific area where you work, it is extremely inadvisable to ignore the precautions laid out for your safety. Doing so could result in permanent injury or blindness.

Our sense of sight is our most-used sense as human beings. We have some of the most advanced vision organs in the world, and losing vision is one of the most debilitating injuries that a human being can face. Do not be one of the people who loses their vision because of carelessness and neglect of laser safety precautions!

Why do we need to wear laser safety glasses? Because our eyes are at enormous risk around lasers. The retina is an extremely sensitive and easily-damaged area of tissue on the human body, and only laser safety glasses can ensure its protection during a laser accident. It takes most lasers a small fraction of a second to do permanent damage to your retina.

We hope you’ll always be sure to practice responsible laser safety and wear your laser safety glasses whenever they’re required! Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

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