Laser Safety Concerns
The laser cutter is safe when used by properly trained makers following our SOPs and cutting only approved materials. Used improperly, laser cutters present several risks that need to be understood by all makers. The most important safety concerns specific to laser cutter use are:
In normal use a laser cutter is able to cut and engrave combustible materials such as wood and paper with little risk of fire. If the ventilation systems aren’t working correctly small flare ups may occur. Scraps from earlier jobs can increase risk of fire. Fire safety is discussed in the training.
It is critical that you are aware of what materials you are using in the laser and understand the potential for some materials to create irritating, harmful, and potentially lethal by-products of combustion. The laser ventilation system is important but is not designed for the evacuation of hazardous fumes and is not a substitute for identification of unsafe materials. If staff is unable to identify a material as laser-safe you will not attempt to use it in our laser cutters.
The danger of injury from laser radiation is very low when correctly operated with all safety interlocks in place. It is never permitted to operate a laser cutter with any interlock bypassed to override a safety feature. While our laser cutters protect your vision from laser radiation, the cutting process does produce an intense light. Looking at this bright light for extended periods of time can cause damage to your vision.