Laser Basics

  • Posted on Nov 26, 2019

  • What is a Laser?  Why are they dangerous?
    • LASER is an acronym that stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.  Laser beams are monochromatic (one color), coherent (constant phase difference), and directional.  Lasers can be potentially dangerous when they come in contact with skin tissue because of the intense thermal absorption created by the directed energy beam.  They can also be very dangerous for eyes because they can burn holes or blind spots in the retina.  Direct contact with a laser beam can cause skin burns.  Looking directly into a laser can cause permanent blindness.
    • Laser light exists within the electromagnetic spectrum.  The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye is very small compared to the full spectrum.
    • Work related eyesight injury and blindness is a serious problem for industries that use lasers.  Many of the common eye injuries could have been prevented with the proper use of eye protection.  Employers must ensure that workers are protected from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, and light radiation.

Want to learn more? Take our Laser Safety Certification course.

If you work in the medical field, click here instead:

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