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Gary Scott

Laser distance meter safety

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Has anyone had the health and safety compliance of their laser distance meter questioned?

I have used my Hilti on set for years now, and a Leica Disto before that, without any problems.

Apart from the obvious thing of avoiding people's eyes with the beam, are there any known issues?

The user manual of the Hilti PD 42 says, "Operation of the tool in the proximity of pregnant
women is not permissible". It doesn't say what the specific risk is, if any, nor does it define 'proximity'.

I am contacting Hilti, but that is going to take some time, it seems. For the time being the production has imposed 'limits' on the use of lasers until we get some clarification on their safety, including not taking body distance readings on any women...

The problem is for me that I work on a fast turnaround Australian TV drama, using Sony F55 cameras. We don't use the lasers for everything, but they save a lot of valuable time in many circumstances.

I also wonder what this means for the many female ACs out there. Are laser distance meters safe for them to use? I suspect that there is no real risk at all, and that the warning in the manual is just a cautious legal caveat, but I need to find that out for sure.

Any clues?

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After a week I think you have your answer. A laser at that power can only injure if it's shone in the eyes.

It's a CYA non-issue.

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Yes we did get confirmation from Hilti that the safety warning about pregnant women was a 'just in case' legal disclaimer. Hilti also said that there is no known risk to anyone, male, female, pregnant or not from using or being in the vicinity of use of a Hilti laser distance meter.

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