Laser Safety :: Lasers Info :: Ultralasers, Inc


Laser Safety

General Laser Safety

:: Recommendations And Requirements

Laser light, because of its special properties, poses safety hazards not associated with light from conventional sources. The safe use of lasers requires that all laser users, and everyone near the laser system, are aware of the dangers involved.The safe use of the laser depends upon the user being familiar with the instrument and the properties of coherent, intense beams of light. The greatest concern when using a laser is eye safety.

Most lasers are capable of causing eye injury to anyone who looks directly into the beam. In addition to the main beam, there are often many smaller beams present at various angles near the laser system. These beams are formed by specular reflections of the main beam at polished surfaces such as lenses or beam splitters. While weaker than the main beam, such beams may still be sufficiently intense to cause eye damage. High power laser beams are powerful enough to burn skin, clothing or paint. They can ignite volatile substances such as alcohol, gasoline, ether and other solvents, and can damage lightsensitive elements in video cameras, photomultipliers and photodiodes.

1. Never look directly into the laser light source or at scattered laser light from any reflective surface. Never sight down the beam into the source.

2. As a precaution against accidental exposure to the output beam or its reflection, those using the system should wear laser safety glasses as required by the wavelength being generated.

3. Use the laser in an enclosed room. Laser light will remain collimated over long distances and therefore presents a potential hazard if not confined.

4. Post warning signs in the area of the laser beam to alert those present.

5. Advise all those using the laser of these precautions. It is good practice to operate the laser in a room with controlled and restricted access.