Tech focus: Safety

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Image credit: FrankHH/Shutterstock.com

A look at the commercial offerings of the main players in safety equipment and services

The safe design, use and implementation of lasers is imperative in minimising the risk of accidents, particularly involving the eyes. Even small amounts of laser light could be potentially dangerous and could lead to permanent eye injuries. This is primarily the case with visible and near-infrared radiation.

Lasers can also cause damage to biological tissues, not just in the eye but also the skin, due to several mechanisms. Thermal damage can occur when tissue is heated to the point where proteins become denatured. Photochemical damage can also occur when light starts a chemical reaction in tissue – this is mostly the case with short-wavelength light. Laser pulses shorter than about 1μs, meanwhile, can cause a rapid rise in temperature, resulting in explosive boiling of water.

According to Market Research Guru’s latest Laser Safety Market report, the share was estimated at $835.72m in 2021 and it is projected to reach $1051.32m by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 3.33 per cent during the forecast period.

 

 

Pro-Lite: Featured product

Latest award-winning laser safety systems from Pro-Lite

Pro-Lite has launched a range of new, large area laser safety screening systems from Laservision. The E25 modular barrier system offers a flexible and quick way to shield laser radiation during maintenance and service work on powerful lasers, with 2 to 9 partitions available. It can also be set up as a room divider or as partitioning around optical tables. The aluminium sandwich construction has been tested and certified in accordance with DIN EN 60825-4 and can be optionally fitted with Laservision’s plastic laser safety windows. The E25 was granted a German Design Special Award in 2021. The TTS table stop barrier system serves a similar purpose to the E25 barrier but in a more compact form suitable for enclosing a laser system on an optical table. The motorised SHELTER-MP roller blind system uses glass fibre reinforced silicone fabric as the blackout material and is available is sizes up to 2.5 x 2.5m.

 

www.pro-lite.co.uk

 

Commercial products
Vendors of laser safety products and equipment include Bioptica, a specialist in safety for laser technology. The company provides professional support, advice and training in laser safety to commercial clients, research organisations, hospitals and private clinics in the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe, the USA and Asia. Bioptica provides high-quality on-site training in laser safety, covering all areas of laser use, ranging from basic awareness courses to more advanced in-depth training. It also provides support to laser users as a certificated Laser Protection Adviser (LPA), undertaking risk assessments and laser safety audits, identifying the necessary protective measures and developing appropriate safety procedures.
 
Edmund Optics offers a wide selection of laser safety products including personal safety equipment and lab safety components. Laser safety eyewear provides CE certified laser radiation protection at wavelengths of common industrial lasers, including Nd:YAG and CO
2, with various style and frame options for user comfort. Acrylic laser windows, also referred to as laser viewing windows, provide high visible light transmission and high optical densities at specified design wavelengths, allowing for the safe observance of lasers applications. Lab laser safety components, including laser warning signs and beam traps, are also available.
 
Amongst Focuslight’s product portfolio is the Limo Wide Angle Diffuser, designed for automotive lidar and 3D sensing applications. It is a glass refractive optical element (ROE) with the ability to disperse laser light in one direction up to a full illumination angle, ranging from a few mrad up to 150 degrees. When combined with a second functional surface, the light can also be shaped at any desired angle in the other direction. This makes it possible to obtain a rectangular field with a steep edge slope and a user-defined field of view), for example 60° x 45° or 120° x 25°. Crucially, it is an eye-safe ROE with no zero-order and no "hot spot." The glass material features small refractive index variation and small thermal expansion with temperature, delivering stable performance over a wide temperature range (-40°C~150°C).
 
Kentec Corporation’s complete LaserSmart line of laser safety services and products includes classroom and online training and certification, auditing and consulting services, software, eyewear, barriers, laser detection and warning equipment for all environments, personnel and levels of laser use. Classes are designed for laser users and Laser Safety Officers and range in complexity from introductory to advanced and online courses are available for basic laser safety training. Laser safety audit services can help to ensure a facility is on track for ANSI and CDRH compliance.
 
Laser 2000 delivers laser safety products such as laser glasses, laser curtains, laser shields and viewing windows that meet the highest safety norms (EN207, EN208, IEC 60825-4, ANSI Z136.1 and DIN EN 12254). The company’s laser safety goggles have special glass filters that allow protection factors up to O.D. 10 (factor 1E+10 attenuation). In addition to a standard range of filters, there is the option for customer-specific filters based on a filter glass database, in which there are approximately 6000 different filters.
 
Lasermet offers laser safety training classes online using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other methods to replicate the interactive classroom environment. The levels of training are laser hazard awareness training and standard laser safety training.
 
Laser Safety Industries provides laser safety products to academic institutions, government and military entities worldwide (one of two approved laser safety window providers to the United States Army for ‘M1 Abrams’ or the 3rd generation US tank), and private industries internationally including several aerospace and space exploration companies located in Silicon Valley and high-tech worldwide. We work hand-in-hand with laser safety officers to provide additional documentation and unique certification needed for custom solutions.
 
Laser Safety Systems is a laser safety engineering firm with more than 30 years of experience in safe laser work practices and engineered safety controls. The company provides interlock modules that easily combine to form a complete interlock system. These 
can be mounted on the wall surface to permit installation in an existing facility, or they can be mounted within the wall during construction of a new lab space. As an added service, the company provides interlock system layout consultation to architects during building design.  
 
Laser safety goggles based on coated or absorptive plastic or glass filters are the core business of laservision. The company uses a variety of technologies to design and manufacture laser safety products.  Its product portfolio includes laser safety eyewear based on all available technologies; coatings on glass and plastic filters; absorbing glass and plastic filters; mineral glass laser safety windows; large area acrylic or plastic laser protection windows; laser safety curtains, slats and barriers; spare parts and accessories and a consulting service.
 
Opton Laser International provides laser protection glasses from UV to Mid-IR with certified protection according to DIN EN207/EN 208 and bearing the CE mark. The company also offers laser protection curtains, panels and enclosures to enable a protective tent for optical tables. The LP12 curtains from partner company, Spetec consist of two identical layers of DIN EN 12254 certified material assembled using a sandwich technique so that both sides of the curtain can be used on the laser side. Different hanging systems are available for all sizes of curtains.
 
Photonic Solutions’ range of laser safety equipment includes NoIR laser safety glasses which offer a range of protective eyewear for use with CW, long pulsed and ultra-fast lasers. The models 39/36 and 900 LaserShields laser safety goggles from NoIR are universal fit laser shields which can be optionally worn over prescription eyewear. These laser safety glasses are EN207 certified with L ratings specified for a wide range of filters.
 
Pro-Lite is partnered with safety leaders laservision to provide laser safety eyewear, laser safety curtains, laser safety windows, medical laser safety products, IPL eyewear and a modular system of laser safety screens. A choice of advanced spectacle, goggle and wrap-around frame styles are available. The company has a wide range of absorbing mineral glass filters, high-visibility coated filters as well as polymer lenses. Safety windows are available in both polycarbonate and high protection mineral glass in a variety of sizes. To provide permanent or temporary screening of a laser process, laser curtains and modular system of rigid screening material and frame provide a practical and convenient solution.
 
Protect-Laserschutz is a certified manufacturer of work protective equipment, specialising in laser protective goggles, laser protection shields and windows, as well as welding protection and work protective clothing. The company provides a wide range of active and passive protective products for industrial, research and technology, medical and government needs.
 
Reliable Laser Solutions offers a variety of structured laser safety training courses to meet its customers’ needs. The firm can also customise any of its onsite courses.  In most cases, onsite courses are scheduled 1-3 months in advance to accommodate staff scheduling needs which provide time for customisation of course material. Course material is based on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publication Z136.3, The Safe Use of Lasers in 
Health Care. In states that have a regulatory programme that oversees non-ionizing radiation, course material is provided to educate attendees about specific requirements.
 
Rockwell Laser Industries (RLI) is a global provider of laser safety education and training, consulting services, and safety products to industrial or medical laser users. Consulting services include audits, FDA/CDRH/IEC laser compliance reporting, product testing and laser safety program/facility audits. The RLI Training Institute offers basic, advanced and specialty laser safety courses, some with hands-on training. Courses are available regionally, on-site with customisation, or through e-learning. The RLI product line includes eyewear, barriers, interlock systems, signs and labels, windows, hazard analysis software, accessories, measurement equipment, standards and other publications.
 
Since 2001, Univet has developed and tested many high-quality patented technologies, materials, new filters and coatings. Nowadays, the company offers personal protection equipment (PPE) and devices for lots of laser applications. Laser eye protection ranges cover industrial and medical use, including for patient care, while laser protection windows, made of plastic or glass material, are available for operators that need to monitor production processes involving laser machinery or industrial plants.
 
This is not an exhaustive list. If you provide products or services in the laser safety space and would like your company to be included, please let us know at: editor.electro@europascience.com
 

Image credit: FrankHH/Shutterstock.com

22 November 2022

Image credit: FrankHH/Shutterstock.com

22 November 2022