Laser safety: Laser protection class 4 applies to all our manual laser welding equipment when in operation.
Different measures are therefore required on the customer side to ensure laser safety, such as:
- the appropriate training of employees,
- wearing special Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- setting up a separate laser safety area
Our Selection of Special Laser Welding protection Goggles and faceshields
Check more on Safety for your Eyes
Check more on Safety for your Health
Safe Working with Handheld Welding lasers
The term LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers can be designed to deliver a large amount of energy to a very small area. In laser welding and laser cutting operations, this energy can heat metals quickly to very high temperatures. Much of the radiation that strikes the workpiece can be reflected into the environment, creating hazards. Mostly laser light used in laser welding equipment is invisible for the human eye (INFRARED-A), so the hazard may not be readily apparent.
- Never point the laser beam at anyone’s eyes!
- Do not look directly into a laser beam!
- Always wear protection glasses!
- If the laser light accidentally strikes your eyes, close your eyes and immediately move your head out of the laser beam.
- Do not use any focusing optical device to look at the laser beam while working with lasers.
Laser radiation of infrared fibre lasers can cause serious and lasting damage to the human eye – so a handheld laser is not a toy. But simple precautions and our inherent safety design make this a safe solution that meets the requirements of globally active customers and their safety organizations.
Lasermach PhotonWeld© is a Class 4 laser system, requiring:
- Personal protection (laser safety eyewear)
- Safety curtains to block operating area from unprotected bypassers
- Laser safety officer (1 day training)
Lasermach offers superior laser safety:
- CE marking based on an in-depth risk analysis following Machinery Directive EC2006/42/EG.
- a true CE design according to machinery directive EC2006/42/EG
- Components with safety performance level D, including Safety PLC instead of custom control board
- Interface for connection of external safety devices (E-Stop, interlock and laser warning light)
Danger of Laser radiation
Lasers used for welding applications radiate in the infrared spectra, which are not visible to the humaneye. The intensive fiber laser light radiate in the visible spectrum but invisible for humans, is especially dangerous to the eye. Fibre laser radiation penetrate through to the retina which can be destroyed irrevocably by relatively little radiation.
Misdirected laser radiation can come directly from the laser and threaten the eyes as a result of a faulty parameter setting, an opened cover, a displaced mirror etc. Other hazards include skin burn or inﬂammation from combustible materials as a result of misdirected laserradiation. The greatest hazard, however, usually stems from reﬂected laser radiation: the major share of the laser radiation is reﬂected by coldmaterial ﬁrst. To this we can add reﬂections of work piece edges, as a result of turbulence in the weld pool etc.
Misdirected radiation and reﬂections must be blocked off. That is why the law stipulates that the laser beam and the work zone must be in an enclosure. Beyond that, all those present, and the machine operators in particular, should wear protective goggles that are appropriate for the laser radiation being used. Fbre laser radiation are very dangerous to the eye and require special protective measures andapproved safety goggles.
Standard protective goggles made of glass or acrylic glass are not suitable at all,
as glass and acrylic glass allow ﬁbre laser radiation to pass through!
Since the laser system produces a very small spot size with high energy, the hazard of fire is present if the beam hits flammable material. Keep flammables away from the welding or cutting area. Be sure to cover and protect anything flammable in the area, since reflected radiation could start fires in unexpected places. Protect the work area.
Invisible Infra-red light radiation is used when laser welding. Due to the interaction with the workpiece, high levels of hazardous infrared-A and secondary radiation can produced by reflection. This light radiation is often reflected from the workpiece into the work area. Radiation from laser welding processes can seriously burn eyes an skin quickly and permanently.
Lasers easily melts, boils and vaporize metals. In doing so, fumes and mists are created which can present a respiratory hazard. Often the fumes and mists cannot be seen, yet they can pose a serious health hazard. Always use adequate ventilation.
If the the optical laser device is mounted on an robotic arm or other beam manipulator, these can malfunction and send the laser beam in unintended directions. Therefore, it is essential that the work cell be shielded in conformance with standards for the laser type and class.
Since lasers require a large amount of electrical power to accomplish specific tasks, electrical hazards are present. Conventional hazards associated with any electrical industrial power source are present. These require standards and common electrical safe practices as found in Safety and Health Fact Sheet . There are the unique electrical hazards common to lasers in general and the hazard of the individual application. Usually, the best source of safety information is provided in the instruction manual from the manufacturer of the laser system. Always read, understand, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended safety procedures.
Laser system eye and skin hazards are addressed in the laser safety standards. In many use situations, special laser eye protective devices are required. According to the safety standard, this eyewear must be labeled with both the optical density (protective factor) and wavelength(s) for which the protection is afforded. The protective eyewear must be compatible with the manufacturer’s specifications for the laser system in use, to ensure that the eyewear is suitable. In addition to the primary hazard of the laser beam, there may be a considerable eye hazard from high levels of secondary radiation. The safety standard requires that the eyes be protected from this secondary radiation in addition to the primary laser beam. A precaution must be added here—standard safety glasses alone do not provide protection. Any laser eyewear, plain or prescription, must be labeled with the wavelength(s) of protection and the optical density at that wavelength(s). In some laser systems, infrared light may be leaked into the workplace. Thus the eyewear should provide primary beam protection, secondary radiation protection, and also infrared protection.