Laser Safety for Those in the Entertainment Business
Lasers can be a fantastic addition to almost any show. From rock concerts to musicals, these entrancing little beams of light have been injected into almost every form of entertainment you can imagine. These additions add excitement, life, and color to the show, and have the ability to take a good show to the next level.
That said, there is a lot that goes into safely putting together a laser light show. You see, laser beams that are strong enough to put on a show are also strong enough to cause some serious eye damage. In fact, looking directly into a laser beam that is used for entertainment purposes could blind you for life.
For this reason, those who use lasers in their performances are closely regulated and must take a number of safety measures. While most of these safety measures are for the sake of the audience, it is important that those working onstage and behind the scenes don’t overlook their own safety. After all, these are the men and women who are working in close proximity to the machines that emit the laser beams. This means they are working in risky conditions and could easily be injured or even blinded.
Fortunately, there are steps these individuals can take in order to ensure they are relatively safe while working. If you are working near laser beams in the entertainment industry, the person manning the laser machines should be highly trained and will do his or her best to keep you safe. However, it is also important that you do your part to remain as safe as possible.
Here are the safety tips you should be keeping in mind during each and every practice and performance.
If you are a director or producer looking to add a light show to your production, it is very important that you hire professionals to run the laser portion of the show. While this will likely cost more than paying the neighbor kid to use his cheap laser beam machine, it will help ensure the safety of your crew, performers, and audience.
For actors and backstage crew, taking directions is the most important thing. Remember, the people running the machines are professionals who know and understand the laser equipment. If you are told to stand in a certain place while onstage, pay attention and stay in that area. If you are working backstage, follow all instructions carefully and steer clear of the laser equipment.
Clear the Path
If something happens to go wrong and you do find yourself in the direct path of a laser beam, remove yourself from that path immediately. While this could potentially throw off the show, it will keep you safe, which is far more important in the long run. This is a rule that applies to both performers and crew members, as well as anyone else who might find themselves standing in the wrong spotlight.
Besides getting out of the way of laser beams, you will also want to look away from the light if you should see one shining your direction. Generally, your body will defend itself by telling your eyes to blink. Give in to that defense, turn your body, move away, and keep your eyes closed until you know the beam is no longer hitting you directly.
For many performers, safety eyewear is not practical. This is unfortunate because safety glasses or goggles give the very best laser protection available.
Fortunately, crew members can easily take advantage of the safety of specially made glasses or goggles. If you are a stage hand or other performance crew member and find yourself working in close proximity to lasers, be sure to find some laser-specific safety eyewear to put over your eyes during all rehearsals as well as performances. This may leave you feeling silly, but that’s a small price to pay for retaining your eyesight.
Choose the Right Eyewear
When choosing the eyewear you will be wearing backstage during the laser show, be sure you choose something that meets OSHA standards. You will also want something that fits properly so slipping is not an issue while you’re trying to work. Finally, if you require a glasses prescription, be sure to order prescription glasses or goggles, or find eyewear that will fit directly over your day-to-day glasses.
Of course, safety eyewear doesn’t maintain itself. Therefore, considering the fact that you are counting on your glasses or goggles to prevent blindness, you will want to inspect your eyewear after every use. Watch for little problems such as cracks, loose earpieces, and other obvious problems, and replace the safety gear as soon as you are aware of an issue.
By keeping these simple safety tips in mind during your rehearsal process and throughout the run of your show, concert, or tour, you are likely to enjoy all the benefits of a laser show without any issues at all. Not only that, but these safety rules are likely to come in handy for future productions as well. After all, laser shows are becoming more and more common, and understanding how to work safely around this type of light is very important.
Are you ready to order your own set of laser safety glasses? Feel free to contact us for information on our high-quality eyewear. We would be happy to help you find the right product before your next rehearsal.