A laser level is a specialized device that consists of a laser projector, which emits a laser beam. It is known to all that laser beams can be very harmful for the human eyes and skin. A laser beam with certain power can cause very much damage to the user and the surrounding as well. Especially in construction sites, the use of certain laser beam can be hazardous. Before using a laser level, one should know the basic features of the laser as well as the possible hazards that a laser level can cause. It is very important to take precautions and safety measures in order to prevent any kind of hazards or accidents due to the laser level. This article provides safety tips for laser level users.
Types of laser and the harmful effects
It is very important to know about the types of laser that are usually used for various laser devices as well as for laser level and the maximum effect that the laser beam can cause:
- Class 1 and 1M types of laser beams are the type of laser that are used in remotes. These lasers are enclosed in housing and are not at all harmful.
- Class 2 type of laser is also safe, as the eyes’ blink reflex won’t let any damage to the eye. This laser type power ranges up to 1mW and is safe in case used in laser levels; one can manage without using safety glasses.
- Class 2M laser can cause damage to the eye when comes in contact with the eye for long period, even if viewed with optical instrument.
- Class 3R type of laser is risky, as the power of this laser beam ranges up to 5mW and staring for some seconds directly on the beam can cause damage to the retina of the eye. One should avoid staring at the laser beam of this type.
- Class 3B can cause tremendous damage to the eye even if the beam is directly viewed for shorter period than the blink reflexes. The viewing of the reflection of the beam on the mirror can also cause damage to the eye. 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.
- Class 4 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 dangerous and hazardous.
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.
Safety Precaution Tips
While using a laser level it is very important to take certain precautions for safety, as some laser beams can be extremely hazardous, for the user as well as for the people nearby the area where the laser level is being used;
While using a laser level or laser measure the most vulnerable body organ of the user is the eye. The laser beam even in low power can cause damage to the eyes, if one stares directly into the beam. It is very important to keep the eyes safe. A safety glass or specialized goggles must be worn while working with a laser level. One should try best way possible not to directly look into the beam and must never point the beam towards the eye. The laser level should not be set or mounted at the head level and it must not be set up near any reflecting surface, as the beam might reflect and cause damage to the user or any other bystanders nearby.
For safety, the setup of the laser level must be done either above the head level of the user or below the head level, so that the beam cannot get direct contact with the eyes.
One should never point the laser beam of the laser level at other people, vehicles, drivers or even pets. The laser beam might suddenly distract and blackout the driver of the vehicle that might lead to a serious accident. Pets are also living beings; the laser beam will cause the same damage to the pets as it does to the humans. The beam can damage the eye of the pet, so one must always be very careful not to harm oneself and also others while using a laser level.
The laser level must always be switched off when not in use or if the user is not around, as it is risky for bystanders, if they might come across the device and stare into the beam unnecessarily, it might cause damage to their eyes.
If one is using a laser level at home or area where there are small kids playing around, it can be very risky as the children might seek a chance to play with the device and the shiny light emitted by the laser level attracts them the most, which is really dangerous for them. To keep the laser level away from children, it is best to mount the laser level at high level, so that the children are not able to reach it. One should never leave the device alone, if there are kids nearby.
Radiation from the laser beam other than class 1 and class 2 can be very harmful. So if one is using a laser level with laser beam type 2M, 3R or 3B, then it is best to wear a safety body gear. To keep the bystanders away from the area, one can use cross line warning signs or even flame retardation warning banners.
One must never use the laser level near flammable liquids, dusts or gases as the beam from even low class laser can cause explosion in combustible gases or flammable airborne dusts in high concentration, especially if the laser level is concentrated only over a very small area.
It is extremely necessary to do a thorough check of the particular area where the laser level is to be used. One should always keep a fire extinguishing equipment near the work place. It is also important that one knows how to use the equipment. If one doesn’t know, it is best to get training for using a fire extinguishing device.
Sometimes due to vibrations there might be misalignment of the laser level that can be very problematic. Due to the vibration the laser level device might also heat up. To prevent this, one should always mount the laser level to a firm surface and never use the laser level where there is any machinery as heavy vibration source.
It is obvious that any laser level device come with various indication and warning labels to help the user while using the device as well as to protect the user from certain dangers. One should strictly follow the warnings and indications written on the labels.
Some people don’t give much importance to the labels and end up destroying or removing the labels. This must never be done, as each minuet label on the laser level is important and one must follow those properly.
Disassembling or repairing
Some users get over-smart and try to open up the whole unit to check the parts inside. One should never try to disassemble the device as this might ruin the laser level. Until and unless a person is trained, the device must not be opened. Even if one has the user manual guide, disassembling the unit is not a great idea as there are certain things about the laser level, which are not mentioned completely in the manual. If some damages were caused and the device needs to be repaired, it is best to take professional help; sometimes trying to repair can cause more damage to the laser level.
The material used in the laser level, which is the active medium for laser can be toxic and carcinogenic as most of the materials used are harmful. One must be very careful while handling and storing the laser level.
The disposal of the damaged and worn out laser level must be done carefully. One should not simply throw it away on water bodies as this may affect the life in the water. It can either be dumped deep in the earth or one can send it to some garbage recycling dump-yard. It is not important only for the user to be safe, but the environment must also be taken care.
Using an advanced device like laser level, which deals with laser, is very risky as the laser level is a highly professional device. If one is not an experienced laser level user, one should read the user manual guide very carefully and thoroughly so that one can use the device in the correct manner and the risk of hazards can be minimized. For safety, it is important to wear specialized body and eye gear. The safety tips should be strictly followed to avoid any unnecessary hazards. Prevention and precaution is always better than cure, and in this case precaution is the best option.