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Old 12-17-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


I just purchased a self leveling laser level that shoots cross lines. Should eye wear protection be used with these products or is the laser not that strong? And if so can you recommend some glasses?

I have seen the glasses that help you see the laser lines but I'm not sure if they protect your eyes or not, and you can't always not look at the laser and get it in the eye so a simple pare of glasses would help out.

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Old 12-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Looking at the reflected laser on the wall is harmless, so working with special glasses is not necessary. Looking directly into the beam coming out of the laser level is not a good idea...Avoid doing that and you'll be fine.

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Old 12-17-2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Looking towards the laser can't always be avoided especially if your walking around looking to grab tools ect. Is there some kind of safety glasses for lasers? (people don't intend to injure themselves with power tools but it happens and some kind of safety is always a good idea)
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


It isn't star trek ...It won't burn a hole in your eye if you happen to accidentally look into it for a split second. It can do damage if you stare into it for an extended period of time. Don't get me wrong, I'm an advocate for all necessary safety measures. But, I see people working around lasers every single day at work, and never see anyone wearing any sort of laser-proof protective eyewear.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


  1. Quote:
    OSHA Regulatory Practice. At the present time, OSHA does not have a comprehensive laser standard, though 29 CFR 1926.54 is applicable to the construction industry. A standard for personal protective equipment (Subpart I) may apply in some cases.

    The construction standard 29 CFR 1926.102(b)(2), for eye and face protection, states that "employees whose occupation or assignment requires exposure to laser beams shall be furnished suitable laser safety goggles which will protect for the specific wavelength of the laser and be of optical density (O.D.) adequate for the energy involved."

    OSHA citations are issued by invoking the general duty clause or, in some cases, Subpart I. In such cases, the employers are required to revise their reportedly unsafe work place using the recommendations and requirements of such industry consensus standards as the ANSI Z 136.1 Standard. See also Table III:6-8.
Quote:
When must I provide eye protection
for employees?

You must provide eye protection for employees
whenever they are exposed to potential eye injuries
during their work if work practice or engineering
controls do not eliminate the risk of injury. Some
of the things that might cause eye injuries include
the following:
• Dust and other flying particles, such as metal
shavings or wool fibers.
• Molten metal that might splash.
• Acids and other caustic liquid chemicals that
might splash.
• Blood and other potentially infectious body
fluids that might splash, spray, or splatter.
• Intense light such as that created by welding
arcs and lasers.


Quote:



Laser safety goggles. Laser safety goggles
provide a range of protection against the intense
concentrations of light produced by lasers. The
type of laser safety goggles you choose will
depend upon the equipment and operating
conditions in your workplace.

Table 2 of this
document and Chapter II:6, “Laser Hazards,” in
the

OSHA Technical Manual* will help you
select the appropriate protection for your employees.


Quote:
How do I protect employees from
exposure to laser beams?

You must provide safety goggles specifically
designed to protect the employees’ eyes from the
specific intensity of light produced by the laser.
The level of protection will vary according the level
of radiation emitted by the laser. If your employees
are exposed to laser beams, you must determine the
maximum power density, or intensity, that the lasers
can produce.* Based on this knowledge, you must
select lenses that will protect against this maximum
intensity.
Quote:

Table 3 shows the minimum optical
density of lenses required for various laser intensities.
Employers with lasers emitting radiation
between two measures of power density (or light
blocking capability) must provide lenses that offer
protection against the higher of the two intensities.

Intensity, CW maximum power Optical density (O.D.) Attenuation factor
density (watts/cm


2)
10

-2 5 105

10

-1 6 106

1 7 10

7

10 8 10

8

Table 3.
Selecting Laser Safety Glass

Source: 29 CFR 1926.102(b)(2)(i)

12


those
*
those are all excerpts from OSHA publications or information based on OSHA standards.. The last one was supposed to include a table used to help determine what glasses are appropriate for what laser power used.

this is the link to the entire article: http://www.setonresourcecenter.com/s...E/osha3151.pdf
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


ok so where can I get a pair? HD or Rona I don't think sells them.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:40 AM   #7
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Per WISHA Requirements regulating commercial construction safety, construction lasers being that they are less than 5mw~ laser safety eye wear is not required. The majority of lasers you buy today, either visible or non visible beam, are 3mv~. Those specs in that post are outdated and designed around high powered industrial lasers. In the early days prior to the new tech. , we would have to post the jobsite for potential hazards of lasers and now WISHA and OSHA have done away with that policy. I have used construction laser equipment for the last 15 years daily, look in to the beam daily as well as all of my guy, other trades, no ill effects so far . IMO, dont worry about it, common sense will go miles farther than any safety gear you can buy, staring into the sun will damage your eyes too! If it is done for prolonged periods.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:54 AM   #8
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


gee, I wasn't aware that OSHA continued to post outdated rquirements. Guess it's just me.

and to anybody that , as tracymc put it, "look in to the beam daily as well as all of my guy, other trades"

is a fricken moron. Just about any laser light can cause damage. It may not be noticable now but it causes damage that will affect you in the future..Just becuase you don't wince and cry in pain doesn;t mean there is no damage.

here is an excerpt from current OSHA publications:

Quote:
Lasers and laser systems are assigned one of four broad Classes (I to IV) depending on the potential for causing biological damage. The biological basis of the hazard classes are summarized in Table III:6-4.

a. Class I: cannot emit laser radiation at known hazard levels (typically continuous wave: cw 0.4 µW at visible wavelengths). Users of Class I laser products are generally exempt from radiation hazard controls during operation and maintenance (but not necessarily during service).

Since lasers are not classified on beam access during service, most Class I industrial lasers will consist of a higher class (high power) laser enclosed in a properly interlocked and labeled protective enclosure. In some cases, the enclosure may be a room (walk-in protective housing) which requires a means to prevent operation when operators are inside the room.

b. Class I.A.: a special designation that is based upon a 1000-second exposure and applies only to lasers that are "not intended for viewing" such as a supermarket laser scanner. The upper power limit of Class I.A. is 4.0 mW. The emission from a Class I.A. laser is defined such that the emission does not exceed the Class I limit for an emission duration of 1000 seconds.

c. Class II: low-power visible lasers that emit above Class I levels but at a radiant power not above 1 mW. The concept is that the human aversion reaction to bright light will protect a person. Only limited controls are specified.

d. Class IIIA: intermediate power lasers (cw: 1-5 mW). Only hazardous for intrabeam viewing. Some limited controls are usually recommended.

NOTE: There are different logotype labeling requirements for Class IIIA lasers with a beam irradiance that does not exceed 2.5 mW/cm2 (Caution logotype) and those where the beam irradiance does exceed 2.5 mW/cm2 (Danger logotype).

e. Class IIIB: moderate power lasers (cw: 5-500 mW, pulsed: 10 J/cm2 or the diffuse reflection limit, whichever is lower). In general Class IIIB lasers will not be a fire hazard, nor are they generally capable of producing a hazardous diffuse reflection. Specific controls are recommended.

f. Class IV: High power lasers (cw: 500 mW, pulsed: 10 J/cm2 or the diffuse reflection limit) are hazardous to view under any condition (directly or diffusely scattered) and are a potential fire hazard and a skin hazard. Significant controls are required of Class IV laser facilities
as you can see, even a <3mW laser would be listed as 3A class laser.

and here is the table that accompanies that literature (also from a current OSHA publication):

I can't get it to copy so here is the link: http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm...m_iii_6.html#2

You'll have to scroll down to find it.

here is the CURRENT listing concerning lasers in Washington

Quote:
WAC 296-155-155 Nonionizing radiation.
(1) Only qualified and trained employees shall be assigned to install, adjust, and operate laser equipment.
(2) Proof of qualification of the laser equipment operator shall be available and in possession of operator at all times.
(3) Employees, when working in areas in which a potentially hazardous exposure (see WAC 296-62-09005(4)) to direct or reflected laser radiation exists, shall be provided with antilaser eye protection devices specified in Part C of this chapter.
(4) Areas in which Class II and III lasers are used shall be posted with standard laser warning placards.
(5) Beam shutters or caps shall be utilized, or the laser turned off, when laser transmission is not actually required. When the laser is left unattended for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch hour, overnight, or at change of shifts, the laser shall be turned off.
(6) Only mechanical or electronic means shall be used as a detector for guiding the internal alignment of the laser.
(7) The laser beam shall not be directed at employees.
(8) When it is raining or snowing, or when there is dust or fog in the air, and it is impracticable to cease laser system operation, employees shall be kept out of range of the area of source and target during such weather conditions.
(9) Laser equipment shall bear a conspicuously displayed label to indicate hazard classification. This label shall be prepared in accordance with 21 CFR 1040.10.
(10) Only Class I, II, or III laser equipment shall be used. Class IV laser equipment shall not be used.
(11) Laser unit in operation shall be set up above the heads of the employees, when possible.
(12) Employees shall not be exposed to radio frequency/microwave radiation in excess of the permissible exposure limits specified in WAC 296-62-09005.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040 and 49.17.050. 86-03-074 (Order 86-14), § 296-155-155, filed 1/21/86; 85-01-022 (Order 84-24), § 296-155-155, filed 12/11/84; Order 74-26, § 296-155-155, filed 5/7/74, effective 6/6/74.]
if you go to the hyperlink (the "WAC 296-62-09005") in the section above, it get very specific as to what is required and what isn't.

Guess what? Class lll lasers require eye protection.

I figured I would toss in a statement about class ll lasers just for the fun of it:

Quote:
ii) Class II. Visible wavelength laser systems that have a low hazard potential because of the expected aversion response. There is some possibility of injury if stared at. This is a low hazard category.

in most governmental controls, class ll does not require glasses due to the fact they believe the body's aversion response will prevent you from looking into the laser long enough to cause damage. That doesn't mean it won't cause damage, just that you would typically "look away" due to the discomfort it causes before it will cause damage. The way I see it, if my body is "uncomfortable" looking into a laser light, there is a reason and that is because it is injuring my body. You can look at it anyway you want but I don't want to realize 20 years down the road, I fried my retinas and now I am going blind because of my macho stupidity when I was young.
then up to class lll:

Quote:
(iii) Class III. Laser systems in which intrabeam viewing of the direct beam or specular reflections of the beam may be hazardous. This class is further subdivided into IIIa and IIIb. This is a moderate hazard category.
and further into the link:

Quote:
(c) Warning signs and classification labels shall be prepared in accordance with 21 CFR 1040.10 when classifying lasers and laser systems, and ANSI Z136.1 - 1980 when using classified lasers and laser systems. All signs and labels shall be conspicuously displayed.
(i) The signal word “caution” shall be used with all signs and labels associated with Class II and Class IIIa lasers and laser systems.
(ii) The signal word “danger” shall be used with all signs and labels associated with Class IIIb and Class IV lasers and laser systems.

Quote:
(d) Personal protective equipment shall be provided at no cost to the employee and shall be worn whenever operational conditions or maintenance of lasers may result in a potentially hazardous exposure.
(i) Protective eyewear shall be specifically designed for protection against radiation of the wavelength and radiant energy of the laser or laser system. Ocular exposure shall not exceed the recommendations of ANSI Z136.1 - 1980.
(ii) For Class IV lasers and laser systems protective eyewear shall be worn for all operational conditions or maintenance which may result in exposures to laser radiation.

So tracymc, do I need to go on? If I am wrong, please post the appropriate sections that state these current publications are no longer in effect.

You can be an idiot and look into a laser if you want but do not post information that is incorrect and could result in harm to others.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


I 'm not convinced OSHA even completely understands how to deal with this.

It seems they admit to two things.
1) They make no distinction about exposure to lasers, regardless of size
2) Constuction type laser levels produce such low levels of Laser radiation that they do not consider them a workplace hazard

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ONS&p_id=18992

My own interpretation after reading this is that the exposure to an employee from a common laser level would be so small that it could not be classified as a work place hazard and therefor OSHA would not issue a citation. If, however an employee stared into the beam, beyond the unintentional contact level, the employer could be cited for an exposure violation. Simply put, inform your employees not to stare into the laser and you will have met the general duty clause of the OSHA standard about making emlployees aware of workplace hazards. Second, if you catch one staring into it, fire him for violating workplace safety regs.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


You do realize that letter was concerning a class I laser don't you?

here is a link to but one laser level. It produces up to 5 mW and is listed as a class IIIA. Very different than a class I laser. Read my info and you will see the different protection required for the various classes of lasers.

http://www.laserlevels.net/robotoolz...tr-7290-2.html
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:01 PM   #11
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Wearing laser eye goggles will make using a laser eye level nearly impossible as you will not be able to see the beam with them on. They work my filtering out the wavelength of the laser, which has the side effect of making invisible. It is possible to buy special cards which will fluoresce and make the beam visible when it hits it, but to be honest I’ve only ever seen them used for class IV (assuming the laser is visible, IR laser which you can’t seem make them much more interesting).

Don’t look into the beam, avoid lasing at eye level, and don’t leave it on if you aren’t using it. Do this and you should be fine.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:05 PM   #12
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Quote:
It is possible to buy special cards which will fluoresce and make the beam visible when it hits it, but to be honest I’ve only ever seen them used for class IV (assuming the laser is visible,
dang guy, what do you do for a living? Most ceiling (drop ceiling installers) have one with a magnet on it to stick to the grid as the put it up. Lots of guys have them hanging around their necks on a string as well. I've rarely seen a carpenter with a laser that doesn't have a card.

as to " avoid lasing at eye level".

Hhmm, guy is on a lift setting ceiling grid with laser set 2" below. Do you see a realistic way of not using it at eye level?

. I have posted pertinent OSHA standards as well as plenty of other material stating when you should and when you must wear protection per OSHA. Most guys I hear that say "Oh, don't worry about this or that" also have stories about how they ran a nail through their hand or some other injury from being stupid and not following safety common sense and rules.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:58 PM   #13
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Nap, you've been in the trades for how long without hurting yourself by doing something you shouldn't do? If you've never hurt yourself, then you're doing something right my friend.

I agree that it is good to follow safety rules when working and using tools, and OSHA rules are normally an unrealistically strict set of guidelines that will certainly afford someone the greatest protection possible. But, quoting OSHA rules like the gospel doesn't hold a whole lot of water on a DIY site. OSHA rules do not apply to DIYers, and are often impractical and/or ridiculous in the real world. I've seen a lot of good residential crews basically fined into bankruptcy and out of business due to OSHA's random site visits in recent years...Subcontractors fined upwards of several thousand dollars for walking up stairs that didn't have guardrails or walking two steps up 2x12 ramps on the front door of a home 12" off the ground, but the ramps weren't the required 18" wide.

That being said, if there are protective glasses available for laser users, it probably isn't a bad idea to wear them.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Quote:
thekctermite;204681]Nap, you've been in the trades for how long without hurting yourself by doing something you shouldn't do? If you've never hurt yourself, then you're doing something right my friend.
Nigh on a couple decades. Cuts and bruises but nothing serious. That is from doing things right, not wrong and getting lucky. Enough accidents happen when you are doing things right. Why would you want to risk not going home one day because you did something unsafe when you didn't have to?

Quote:
I agree that it is good to follow safety rules when working and using tools, and OSHA rules are normally an unrealistically strict set of guidelines that will certainly afford someone the greatest protection possible. But, quoting OSHA rules like the gospel doesn't hold a whole lot of water on a DIY site. OSHA rules do not apply to DIYers, and are often impractical and/or ridiculous in the real world.
a self leveling laser as DIY? Maybe but unusual. If it is rotary, you're looking at $1k or so for a decent one. I do not see OSHA rules as unrealistic in most situations.

Quote:
I've seen a lot of good residential crews basically fined into bankruptcy and out of business due to OSHA's random site visits in recent years...
Random visits? Maybe they better check the laws that apply to random visits.

Quote:
Subcontractors fined upwards of several thousand dollars for walking up stairs that didn't have guardrails or walking two steps up 2x12 ramps on the front door of a home 12" off the ground, but the ramps weren't the required 18" wide.
First, almost every OSHA fine is negotiable. Second, how hard is it to follow the rules that require what you list? Bottom line: if you don;t care about your safety, nobody else will. The rules are available to everybody and those to whom they apply are simply negligent if they do not know them and derelict if they do not follow them. If costs of safety are a concern, then the contractors need to understand that those are part of the costs of doing business. If they ignore the rules, they are not doing anybody a favor.

Quote:
That being said, if there are protective glasses available for laser users, it probably isn't a bad idea to wear them.
As I said, for me, this is beyond what OSHA requires. Retina damage from a laser is most likely not going to show up right away. It will show up later in life and very often, not even linked to the laser but that doesn't make the damage any less of a problem.

and especially since this is a DIY site that the folks asking are not aware of the safety guidelines for any given subject, I feel it is our duty, as those dispensing advice and often professionals, to inform them of the whats and whys. Do you feel we should not consider an OP's safety when answering a question? as a well informed poster here, I actually am offended you would suggest disregarding safety information. OSHA may not apply to a homeowner but the reasons for the rules do.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:05 PM   #15
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Laser Level - Eyewear Required?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
dang guy, what do you do for a living?
If you must know, I'm a research scientist at one of the Naval Surface Warfare Centers. So yeah, my laser experience has been in a much difference venue, and to be honest I don't work with them as much as I used to either. But sorry if I'm giving bad advice.

That said, I don't think installing a drop ceiling from lift is a very typical diy project. All the laser goggles I've worn leak around the edges, and I don't care what I'm doing, I ain't ever intentionally sticking my head in the beam path.

Anyway thekctermite's first response was correct, for a IIIA laser a diffuse reflection is harmless so all you need to do to make sure you don't accidently take the beam to your eye. And yes for some, and possiblye all to be safe, jobs laser wearing laser googles should be one the things you do to ensure this. Just be advised that seeing the beam now becomes a problem.


I have accuatlly been told that OHSA has the right to enforce safety regs on diy projects for which a permit is required. I'm a little skeptical of this, but someone I know claims to have received a stern lecture on fall protection from an OHSA inspector when they did a roof a while back and that was they told him.

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