One of the biggest nuisances about working in environments using laser technology is the protective eyewear worn. If you have a laboratory or other work site using lasers, many of your employees likely complain about how ill-fitting their safety glasses are. Or, maybe your workers suffer in silence at wearing uncomfortable and non-stylish eyewear.
Despite lasers helping the world through various industries, the risk to technicians is great. Even so, finding suitable laser safety glasses still remains a problem for many.
The biggest issue is the comfort level and an employee having to put up with tight-fitting laser glasses for a full workday. Another issue is pure quality.
Then you have possible obscured field of view, hence leading to potentially disastrous accidents.
Don’t forget about basic style either. No doubt you’ve seen enough laser eyewear resembling something out of a mad scientist lab. Your employees don’t always want to wear something like this, especially when working with others, or the public.
Here’s a look at the types of laser glasses available to find something just right.
Breaking Down What You Really Need
If you’re new to buying laser safety wear, the first thing you need to pay attention to is buying the right filter. It all comes down to what filter you need, what style you want, and choosing between non-prescription or prescription lenses.
In all cases, it requires some extensive decision-making since they all have various options.
Quality laser safety glasses need to protect from reflected, scattered, or direct laser light, or otherwise face extensive eye damage. Class 3R, Class 3B, or Class 4 laser systems bring particular vulnerability to your employees, so your eyewear choices require smart thinking.
You may want to consider having someone trained as a laser safety officer to help find the right eyewear. It’s not to say a quality laser glasses dealer can’t guide you to the right decisions.
Choosing the Right Filter
It’s imperative to find the right type of eyewear filter for the lasers you’re using. Checking your laser’s operating wavelength and power level helps considerably in deciding the filter required.
Basically, you have four filter types to consider based on the above details.
Using a glass filter, you’ll have something that offers the most protection for different laser wavelengths.
All glass filters give you excellent visibility to prevent field-of-view issues. They also come in different colors ranging from grey to purple. However, it’s possible to obtain two different filters in a traditional clear color as well.
Perhaps you’ve used polycarbonate lenses on your regular eyewear in the past. In laser eyewear, polycarbonate filters give the same benefits in being extremely lightweight, as well as affordable.
The standout, of course, is these glasses won’t feel like a weight on one’s face. Despite being economical, they still provide thorough laser protection. They also have scratch resistance so you don’t have to worry about the lenses being ruined if dropped.
Polycarbonate filters come in more diverse color tint styles, including red.
As a relational filter to polycarbonate above, these help provide thorough protection when working with aligning lasers. The latter can easily emit dangerous radiation in an employee’s visible spectral range.
With these filters, you’ll have assurance a worker won’t sustain eye damage using a more powerful laser system. Visible light transmission on many of these is only 26%.
Alignment filters provide just as many color options, ranging from red to dark orange.
Intense pulse light lasers need special filters as well, and they’re made with polycarbonate for durability. You’ll be able to find some customization here for specific purposes. For instance, a Brown Contrast Enhancement filter is one way to help your workers be able to better distinguish colors.
Typically, green IPL filters don’t give you superior color recognition, creating a problem if workers need clear vision in their jobs. Often, you’ll see these filters used in laser cosmetic work, making color detection important.
Finding the Right Laser Eyewear Style
Many of your employees may work around people often. As a result, it’s time to give them some stylish laser eyewear style options for improved appearance. Numerous options await them so they can reflect their own personalities.
Aviator styles are extremely popular based on how thin they look and lightweight they are. These come with side shields for full laser sight protection. You can find numerous color choices here like most other available protective eyewear.
Glasses with nylon frames (using wraparound design) are equally popular. Many of these come with rubberized temple bars and nose pads for complete comfort. Individuals who wear these all day hardly feel like they’re wearing anything.
Fitover designs are a worthwhile choice for those who need to wear laser glasses over their regular glasses. The Eurolite is a good example, which is extremely lightweight so it won’t feel like a burden.
Prescription Laser Eyewear
It’s more than possible to create prescription laser glasses for your employees. Doing so allows them to wear their glasses all day without worrying about fitovers or removing one or the other.
The benefit is you can still use all the above laser safety filters. Ones for high diode light transmission are often used and come in a unique color lens of sea green-blue.
Contact us at Phillips Safety Products to learn more about laser safety eyewear. We’re here to help educate you further and make the best decisions for your industry.