6 Examples of Lasers and How to Use Them Safely
Lasers are all around us. In fact, we use many kinds of lasers on a daily basis without ever even thinking about it, while other types are used to create products we use regularly. Some lasers are even used to help keep our bodies healthy and strong.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that lasers are so helpful in so many ways, they can also be extremely damaging. In fact, some lasers are so powerful that they can burn skin, cause fires, and even cause permanent blindness when used incorrectly and without the proper safety precautions. For this reason, it is crucial that everyone who spends time working with lasers in any capacity knows and understands the safety rules associated with whichever laser they use.
In order to help these individuals gain a better understanding of the various types of lasers and the risks they pose, we have compiled a list of six of the most common types of lasers. In this list, we have included the kinds of damages that can be caused by such a beam and how to prevent those damages from occurring.
#1: Lasers in Printers, CD players, and DVD players
These are lasers that you likely use every single day. You have probably never even considered the lasers in these devices to be safety hazards, which is understandable since they generally aren’t. That said, one should never look at the laser beam emitted by these electronics through a magnifying glass or binoculars, as it could potentially cause eye damage.
#2: Barcode Scanners
From supermarkets to big box stores, barcode scanners are absolutely everywhere. Fortunately, these devices don’t pose much of a risk either. While staring directly at the laser beam each of these scanners puts out is definitely not a good idea, using one in the way it was intended to be used is perfectly harmless.
Therefore, you can go about your grocery shopping without fear of the lasers at the end of the shopping trip.
#3: Laser Pointers
This is where things start to get a little more dangerous. Depending on the laser pointer in question, these bad boys can actually cause a fair amount of damage to the eye. This is especially true of green laser pointers, but applies to laser pointers of other colors as well. For this reason, laser pointers should never be given to children. Additionally, they should not be pointed at the face of any person or animal, nor should they be used as toys.
Finally, it is important to note that laser pointers should never be aimed toward flying vehicles, as the beam has the potential to harm the pilot and create a dangerous situation. Because of this fact, aiming a laser pointer at aircraft is now illegal and punishable by law.
#4: Light Show Projectors
Here is where it becomes necessary for laser users and anyone nearby to don the proper eye protection. While light show projectors can put on an amazing performance during a concert or outdoor event, they are also incredibly strong and could easily blind a person for life. Even a mere reflection of one of these beams is hazardous.
If you are going to be using laser lights for a show, be sure you have the proper training, practice, and gear before showtime arrives. Otherwise, you could easily harm yourself, another staff member, or even a member of the audience.
#5: Industrial Lasers
Another type of laser that requires the user to be extra cautious is the industrial laser. These beams are incredibly helpful tools when it comes to cutting, drilling, and welding, but they can also be incredibly hazardous in the wrong hands.
If you will be working in a location where industrial lasers are used, proper training and laser safety eyewear are a must. This is true whether or not the beam is on, as accidents do happen and your vision is never something to be taken lightly.
Isn’t it awesome that lasers can help keep our bodies healthy and strong? From therapies to surgeries, laser healthcare is an amazing technology that has been life-changing and even life-saving for a great number of people. Unfortunately, just as these beams can do some wonderfully good things, they can also do some terribly bad things when used improperly.
The good news? Those terribly bad things can easily be avoided through proper training, continuous education, and of course, the proper safety equipment.
Of course, this is a just a small sampling of the many uses for lasers. Therefore, it is important to always be aware of the presence of lasers and properly protect yourself if there is even a remote possibility of being exposed to a laser, whether direct, scattered, or reflected.
Not sure if you need to wear safety glasses for your laser-related job? If it involves working in the same room as a laser, the answer is probably a resounding “yes”.
So what are you waiting for? Start shopping for the perfect safety glasses or goggles today so you can be safe on the job tomorrow. Here at Phillips Safety Products we have a wide variety of high-quality eyewear to choose from, so you can find the option that is best for you and your situation.
Need help finding what you’re looking for? We would be thrilled to help! Please contact us with questions or comments and we will get back with you as soon as we can.