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laser safety

How to Protect Your Eyes from Laser Injuries

We know human eyes are highly sensitive to the radiation emoted by laser beams. While using a laser level, you should care the most vulnerable body organ is the eye. If they are not adequately protected, it may sustain damages ranging from minor to severe injuries which can impair vision temporarily or permanently.

Threshold and extent of the eye or optical damage depend on the wavelength, beam divergence and duration of exposure to the laser beam.

Therefore, one should properly observe precautionary measures to prevent or minimize the occurrence of eye injuries in handling laser levels.

In this article, we are going to provide you with a complete guideline on how you will protect your eyes while using a laser level. Just take a look at the entire article.

Types of laser and the harmful effects

If you use a laser level, it is very important to know about the types of laser that are usually used for various laser devices and for laser level as well as the maximum effect that the laser beam can cause:

Class 1 and 1M type laser: These types of the laser beam used in remotes, which are enclosed in housing and are not at all harmful.

Class 2 type laser: It is also safe, as the eyes’ blink reflex won’t let any damage to the eye. This laser type power ranges up to 1mW that is safe in case used in laser levels; one can manage without using safety glasses.

Class 2M laser: This laser can cause damage to the eye when comes in contact with the eye for a long period, even if viewed with an optical instrument.

Class 3R Laser: This type of laser is risky, as the power of this laser beam ranges up to 5mW and staring for some seconds directly on the laser beam without wearing any eye protector can cause damage to the retina of the eye. Users should avoid staring at the laser beam of this type.

Class 3B Laser: It can cause tremendous damage to the eye even if the beam is directly viewed for a shorter period than the blink reflexes. The viewing of the reflection of the beam on the mirror can also cause eye damage. While using a laser level device with this much power, one should never point the laser to the eye as it can be very harmful as well as hazardous.

Class 4 Laser: It is the most harmful laser and it can cause damage to the eyes as well as burn the skin. One should never use this laser type in construction sites as this laser is not only dangerous but also hazardous.

Therefore, one should always check the type of laser a particular laser level has and should be extra careful while using laser levels with stronger laser power.

Selecting the Proper Eyewear

While selecting protective eyewear to prevent ocular laser injury, the two main criteria include laser wavelength and optical density (OD).

Laser wavelength: The wavelength of a laser mainly depends on energy gaps between different electronic, vibrational and rotational states of gain medium. And this energy gap is the equivalent of radiation wavelength. Small gap transitions yield larger wavelength radiation and vice versa.

Optical density (OD): Optical density pertains to the ability of the eyewear material to minimize or mitigate the laser energy corresponding to a specific wavelength reducing it to a safe level lower than the maximum permissible exposure (MPE). Optical density can be taken by using any of these: calculation; use of monograms like the ANSI 136.1 guidelines; or checking with the laser manufacturer.

Various factors on the convenience of the user may check on the following:

Is the design comfortable enough to promote compliance?

What field of view is provided by the design of the equipment?

Is it resistant to unchangeable bleaching when used with high peak irradiation?

Does it have a good impact resistance to heat and dust?

Does it have a side shield protection?

Types of Eyewear Protection

In working with laser levels, the required eye protection specific to the kinds of laser should be worn within the sort of glasses, goggles or wraps.

Laser spectacles lenses are comprised of absorptive dye condensed in hard polycarbonate material which yields high-level resistance to breaking and scratches.

In caring for laser eyeglasses, it should be placed in its protective casing, are often cleansed with 91% isopropanol and will be stored during a temperature no more than 800F (26.60C).

They should have high optical density with excellent visibility, crushproof, high light transmission visibility, rapid response to light and cosy enough to be used.

Tips in Laser Eye Safety

  • Enclose or confine the beam as much as possible
  • Fluorescent screens can be utilized to align beams.
  • Try to avoid direct beam exposure and direct viewing is discouraged.
  • Do use of the lowest power possible in aligning beams.
  • Do not look at the beams or reflections of the laser.
  • Try to keep rooms well-lighted if possible to constrict pupils allowing for lesser eye accommodation of laser.

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