Workplace safety is a hot topic these days, with the well-being of our employees being catapulted to the top of our priority lists. But keeping employees safe isn’t as simple as hard hats and reflective vests. Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes all protective garments, gear, and equipment designed to protect the wearer from safety hazards, and it can be a substantial budgetary line item in an industrial setting and workplace.
We spoke with industry insiders to get the scoop on the importance of one of our favorite topics: eyewear. A resounding theme emerged from our conversations. Proper and effective protective eyewear involves the attention of everyone involved. Careful consideration at the front end of the purchase can often be worth far more than the cost of the gear itself.
“Every day, companies spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on PPE to keep their workers safe. The one item that I believe is most important but is invested in the least is safety eyewear.” – Brady Odom, Wiley X
● Associated Hazard
Not all eyewear is created equally, of course, and there’s a lot to think about before purchasing it for your employees. It begins with identifying the application and the hazards associated with the job. Where will it be used and why? Will your employees need protection in the office, in the field, or on the job site? What specific hazards do they need protection against?
WHICH SAFETY FEATURES DO YOU NEED?
● Side shields
The answers to all of these questions about where and why you require protection will inform your decisions about the kind—and the level—of the protection you should purchase. Certain features can make or break the deal in industrial environments. Knowing which ones do what will be an important part of the decision-making process. Buying eyewear without an irritant-blocking gasket, for example, won’t be as effective against airborne particulates as glasses or goggles with one.
Assurance that the eyewear you’re purchasing has been built and tested to meet the required standards for your industry is also critical and should be considered a feature to prioritize when choosing your level of protection. Some activities may require side shields, while others may require goggles or full-face protection. Employers and safety officers should always consult OSHA to help determine which type of safety eyewear is most appropriate for different job positions, and what certifications to look for before purchasing. ANSI Z87.1 stamped on the inside of the temple of the frame, for example, indicates that it’s approved for industrial use.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD FIT
In addition to function and features, fit is also a priority. If eyewear doesn’t fit correctly, it can’t do its job correctly. Improper fit can increase the risk of exposure, resulting in injury. However, an equally important concern is that the eyewear itself can become a hazard. For example, if ill-fitting glasses cause continual lens-fogging, the lenses themselves lead to impaired vision, which ultimately leads to accidents. A comfortable fit is also important with regard to compliance. If protective eyewear isn’t worn correctly and consistently, its effectiveness is compromised.
In summary, the more information you have about application, associated hazards, and the features that will help to protect against those hazards, the clearer your choices for industrial safety in the workplace will be. Consider your employee’s eyes and vision a top priority, and choose protective eyewear accordingly. Doing your research and considering options thoroughly before making big decisions or purchases of equipment, will keep your employees safer, healthier, and happier.
At SafeVision, we carry a wide array of WileyX prescription safety eyewear styles and lenses for any job. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.