According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of all eye injuries occur because of a lack of safety eyewear. Eye injuries can happen at any time- inside, outside, at work, or home, and we must stay ahead of the possibility of them happening. That is why it is essential to know how to pick out the proper safety eyewear.
OSHA and the Code of Federal Regulations outline personal protective equipment requirements for every company, including eye protection. By law, employers are required to purchase safety eyewear for their employees. But for many, knowing what kind of quality eyewear is best for their employees can be tricky. It is not as simple as typing into Google “How to select the right safety eyewear?” so we will walk you through the steps.
The Hazards You Will Encounter
There will be hazards you will encounter in any job, so you need to understand each type of hazard and how they can harm you.
- Impact– Impact to the eye means all objects that might fly up and into your eyes while working. They include particles, fragments, dirt, chips, or can come from riveting, machining, grinding, drilling, or more. Most of the impact injuries occur to those working in the construction or manufacturing industry, so it is essential to wear safety eyewear on the job!
- Optical Radiation– When dealing with harsh sunlight, glare, lasers, torches, or even welding, the bright light can cause harm to a worker’s eyes. Investing in a pair of high-quality protective safety eyewear or goggles is necessary.
- Heat– Those who weld, or work in casting, pouring, hot dipping, or glass cutting are in danger of heat damage to their eyes. Exposure to hot sparks, molten metal, or intense heat, can be prevented by requiring workers to wear safety goggles over their eyes.
- Dust– For those who work in buffing and woodworking, they must wear safety eyewear to protect their eyes from dust or even flying particles. Those who have allergies or sensitive eyes can also wear a respirator mask and help minimize exposure to the dust and particles surrounding the job.
- Chemicals– Every day, moms and chemists alike use chemicals that could damage our eyes if they make contact. Household cleaning products, degreasing products, or any chemical found in a lab should always require the wear of safety eyewear or goggles to prevent them from splashing into their eyes.
For some jobs, workers will encounter multiple hazards daily. That is why it is essential to take precautionary action and wear the proper protective eyewear before the accident can happen.
Different Types of Lens Materials
Now that you know the different types of hazards you can encounter; it is important to understand the various lens materials available.
- Trivex: This is a newer material that is a stronger, more scratch-resistant, clearer alternative to standard polycarbonate, which is one of the best materials for prescription glasses on the market. Not only is Trivex strong and lightweight, but it also offers 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays, sharper central vision, and sharper peripheral vision. Trivex was developed for military applications, so it is good for outdoor use. Other benefits include resistance to chemicals and better light refraction.
- Polycarbonate- Lenses with polycarbonate are known for being more impact-resistant than other options. There is increased protection because they are strong and prevent more than just flying objects from entering the eye. Polycarbonate is lightweight, and manufacturers can also coat the lenses to avoid the entry of UV rays.
- Plastic- Much like polycarbonate, plastic lenses are also lightweight and do not easily break if dropped. But, they are prone to scratch and are not nearly as strong as polycarbonate lenses. Therefore, the jobs are limited that use only plastic.
- Glass- Glass is the least common lens material used for safety eyewear. Under particular circumstances, you will find glass lenses desirable because they are less prone to scratches but are easily shattered if dropped.
Eyewear That Complies with ANSI Standards
After you have figured out the hazards and the type of lens material you need, it is crucial to ensure the lenses you are looking at comply with the American National Standards Institute. If you are purchasing non-prescription eyewear, it needs to abide by the Z87 or Z87+ standards. If you are purchasing prescription eyewear, they need to comply with the Z87-2 standard. You can find the status of the compliance mark on the temples of the frame.
Work With Experts
Now that you know what you need, it is time to work with the experts at SafeVision to pick out the perfect pair of safety eyewear. Our team is well-versed in every type of hazard, lens, and standard to follow and will put your safety above all else when purchasing eyewear.
Are you looking to purchase multiple pairs for your place of business? Talk with one of our representatives about our Corporate Safety Eyewear Programs. Or shop around a little to learn more about the frames we offer by Pentax or Wiley X and all the lens options that come with them.