Eye protection is a critical part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and is essential in the construction business. It is not something to take lightly, especially when working in environments that pose risks to your employee's occupational safety. The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing safety glasses and goggles.
Every day, thousands of eye injuries are reported in the USA. More than 90% of these eye injuries are caused by inadequate eyewear. It is essential to have safety glasses and goggles in the workplace, as they can protect your eyes from serious injuries. Safety glasses are fitted with soft eyecups and lenses, which work together to reduce pressure on the eyeball. They can also help prevent injuries such as scratches or corneal abrasions when using power tools or doing industrial activities.
Safety glasses in the workplace help prevent injury when using a power tool or doing an industrial activity. Safety glasses are tested to meet ANSI standards. Safety glasses are a part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that the workers wear around their eyes for protection. Safety glasses protect the eyes from foreign debris that could cause injury or irritation. OSHA has specific guidelines regarding eye protection at work. For example, OSHA regulations mandate that safety glasses must have side shields to protect against harmful UV rays or other hazards that may arise.
Workers in construction, manufacturing, and medical occupations often wear safety glasses. Safety glasses come in prescription and non-prescription versions. Generally, non-prescription safety glasses are recommended because they offer the largest field of view. However, prescription safety glasses are also available to those wearing prescription eyeglasses. Prescription safety glasses are typically rated for impact protection and come in many different styles.
Your eyes are your most valuable possession. Make sure you protect them from all types of damage. How can you ensure your eyes are protected? Continue reading to learn more about safety glasses.
The Historical Progression of Safety Glasses
During World War I, the US military designed the first safety glasses; pilot goggles inspired the design. They were created to protect soldiers' eyes from stray bullets, shards of shrapnel, flying glass, and other hazards. While safety glasses were initially just worn over military pilots' helmets, they quickly changed over to be worn as stand-alone eye protection. The design was modified to a clear lens and coated with cellulose acetate to protect the lens from damage. They continued to be used until being replaced entirely with eyeshades in the 1960s.
The first safety glasses for industrial use were created by the American Optical Company in 1916 and were designed to protect people from harmful emissions like lead, mercury, and arsenic. These glasses had solid lenses with a hard, flexible outer clear coating that was resistant to scratches but comfortable to wear. The coating was placed over two pieces of glass that were combined together by a patented welding technique.
Today's safety glasses have evolved dramatically since their first use in 1916, especially since they were re-engineered into plastics instead of glass. In 1920, hard plastics like acrylic were invented and began to be used in safety glasses for the first time by the US military. The US military patented acrylic safety glass as a replacement for glass in 1929 and quickly made them available to the general public. By 1933, acrylic safety glasses were used to protect workers from debris and harmful chemicals.
Since their invention, safety glasses have significantly improved, now being made from plastic-glass compounds that provide more flexibility and better protection than either simple plastic or glass could provide.
Throughout the 1940s and 50s, safety glasses were made when eyeglasses came into fashion again. Eyeglasses would be broken or lost while working at a factory, so safety glasses were designed to fit over them to protect the eyes from falling flying debris, chemicals, and radiation. These glasses also provided vision protection when struck by a drop of corrosive material or short circuit sparks.
In the 1970s, polycarbonate lenses were made with a higher index of refraction. These lenses were used for both optical purposes as well as provided heat resistance for jobs such as welding. Polycarbonate is still used in today's safety glasses even though polycarbonate copolymers and polyurethane have surpassed it. Today, polycarbonates have a high index of refraction, which means they can focus light better or be split into multiple parts for different vision correction needs.
Throughout the 1980s, polyurethane became a popular material for safety glasses in all industrial manufacturing environments as it was lightweight, flexible, and resistant to breakage. Unlike polycarbonates, it provided good eye protection, as polycarbonates could shatter if subjected to high temperatures or many drops. The polyurethane lenses were also scratch-resistant, unlike polycarbonates and other plastics. Polyurethane had a higher resistance to scratching than other materials available at the time.
In the 1990s, the lenses became more impact resistant due to better manufacturing techniques and materials. Lenses today are made from a hard resin mixed with a soft material that retains its shape even after being dropped from great heights.
Today safety glasses are used in a wide range of industries. The most common applications for safety glasses protect workers from injury or damage from falling debris, chemicals, and gases. In the medical field, safety glasses are used to provide high-impact protection for soft tissue and eyes. Other applications include welding, grinding, sanding, and various jobs requiring workers be protected from hazardous substances.
Types of Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are designed to protect the eyes from severe impacts and chemical exposure. Different lenses are offered to protect against various hazards that workers might encounter, including UV protection, wind protection, and dust protection.
Safety glasses are required gear in many workplaces, and knowing what type you need is important. There are three types of safety glasses: clear, tinted, and photochromic lenses. Clear lenses protect the wearer from accidental chemical splashes in uncontrolled environments – like a science lab or construction site – and harmful UV rays and daylight glare. Tinted lenses filter out light to reduce eye strain; they're often called shade 5 when, in fact, they fit into a set of filters categorized by their color code (red #11 is one example). Finally, photochromic lenses adjust to light conditions in their surroundings. Suppose you're working in a factory, a mine, or somewhere with frequent cloud cover or other environmental factors that could distort your vision. In that case, you'll need tinted or photochromic safety glasses. Special safety glasses with UV-blocking earpieces and polycarbonate lenses are needed for environments with high ultraviolet (UV) radiation – like welding, sandblasting, and other construction jobs.
Side Effects of Not Having Safety Glasses in the Workplace
Not having a good pair of safety glasses in the workplace puts workers at high risk for eye damage and possibly even blindness!
The Importance of Safety Glasses and Goggles in the Workplace
It is vital to wear a pair of protective eyewear when engaged in hazardous tasks. Providing safety glasses and goggles to workers is essential to maintaining a safe work environment and preventing severe eye injuries.
It's not just workers in the workplace that need safety glasses and goggles! Anyone who may be exposed to dangerous chemicals or industrial activities should have a pair on at all times. You can contact us today for more information about getting a great pair of safety glasses from our website!
Why Wear Safety Glasses?
Safety glasses or goggles are essential personal protective equipment for workers in the manufacturing, chemical handling, industrial, and food processing industries. Safety Goggles should be worn with hard hats, steel-toed boots, and gloves. All of these products protect workers from hazards that they may encounter on the job.
Mechanics, plumbers, and carpenters cause more than 40% of eye injuries in the workplace. Flying objects cause over 70% of these injuries. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons why you need to wear safety glasses:
• UV protection glasses protect your eyes from the direct and reflected sunlight. This helps workers to see clearly on bright days.
• Eye protection stops pollen, dirt, and dust from getting into the eyes.
• Safety glasses prevent pesticides and chemicals from splashing into the eyes.
• Safety glasses protect the eyes from machinery, tools, branches, and leaves.
• Non-UV and UV glasses can prevent redness and pain from the end of a long day due to eye strain and eye exposure.
• Eye protection can also help prevent eye diseases (i.e., Eye growths).
• Last but not least, eyewear can make you look great!
Uses for Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are often associated with industrial and construction work, and rightfully so. These workers need protection from chemical spills and flying debris. OSHA has specific requirements for eye protection in all work environments, including chemical labs and construction sites. A pair of safety glasses (or goggles) can provide enough protection for the eyes. It is crucial to have a pair of glasses to protect against debris on a job site. They all can block chemical splashes and flying debris from both the front and the sides. The lenses and frames of safety lenses are specifically designed to resist small particles. It is recommended to purchase safety glasses based on the specific use case. For example, while a pair of construction safety glasses will protect against debris and particulates that may attempt to enter the eye, they will not protect against a chemical splash. Safety goggles are recommended when dealing with hazardous chemicals.
Tips for Workplace Eye Safety
Eye safety is integral to workplace safety, but it's easy to forget how vital a seemingly simple part of the body can be. Unfortunately, eye injuries happen so often that they are among the most common cause of occupational disability in some regions of the world. One study found that 17 percent of workers have suffered an eye injury in the last year, with nearly 80 percent of the incidents being caused by objects coming into contact with the eyes. However, more than half of these injuries were minor, and only a tiny percentage were permanent. Eye protection is essential in all workplaces where workers are exposed to potential eye hazards.
Here are five quick tips for eye safety in the workplace:
1. Protect yourself with the proper protection
American Optometric Association stresses wearing appropriate eye protection at your workplace. Safety glasses are best for situations where flying particles or dust are a problem, such as those found in industrial manufacturing environments. Some glasses have protective side shields, which provide excellent protection against debris. In environments with chemicals or diseases, goggles are required. Goggles act as a shield to protect the eyes from liquids such as chemical splashes. Sometimes, other protective measures such as face shields may be necessary.
2. Eliminate hazards
Workers will naturally be motivated to avoid and reduce hazards if there is a workplace culture that places safety first. Safety measures like transparent shields placed around tools and in other areas that are vulnerable to workers will help ensure they don't rely on their protective eyewear only. Make it a priority to educate and train workers about the hazards in your workplace. Create safety protocols, including when and where employees should use protective gear like hearing protection or eyewear.
3. Keep your lenses clean
Workers who can't see might not be the only ones at risk. It is said that eyewear must give workers a clear view of their work area. Anti-scratch eyewear should be worn in places where dust and grit are constantly present. This means you need to research the proper eyewear for your job. If you or your colleagues work outdoors regularly, it is essential to find eyewear with sun protection.
4. First aid should always be readily available
Although you can take many steps to avoid eye injuries at work, it's not a good idea to be unprepared if one does occur. Ensure you have a complete first aid kit and eye drops to address work-related injuries. Eyewash rinse is sufficient to treat minor irritations caused by dust and grit. However, an emergency eyewash station is required for severe injuries to the eyes, where a simple rinse will not suffice, or if you have been exposed to chemicals or acids.
5. Replace damaged items
Workers should only wear safety glasses or goggles that are in good condition. It is not recommended that workers wear scratched, cracked, or broken eyewear.
Eye protection is not something to take lightly, especially when working in environments that pose risks to your employee's occupational safety.
Safety awareness is vital to your health and the health of your co-workers. The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing safety glasses and goggles. The safety glasses you choose should be high quality, flexible, lightweight, and protect from harmful ultraviolet light levels. Your eyesight is fragile and precious. It's best if you don't put your eyes at risk because you don't want to wear safety glasses. Don't rely solely on prescription glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes. Properly designed safety glasses can help you avoid possible dangers. Get a pair of safety glasses from Safety Solutions and Supply today. You'll be thankful you did.