Grange Workwear | Choosing the best eye protection for your team

Choosing the best eye protection for your team

Workplace risk is a well-known reality, but implementing a well-thought-out safety policy will significantly reduce such risk. In addition, our sight is valuable, which necessitates the selection and provision of high-quality safety eyewear that not only protects but also improves wearer compliance thanks to excellent comfort and fit features.

It is evident that high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) can significantly reduce the high actual cost of personal injury, including productivity, litigation, and income while allowing more people to return home safely.

Despite the availability of high-quality safety glasses, the number of incidents involving the eyes and vision is alarmingly high. Evidence suggests this is primarily due to the use of inappropriate eye protection or the absence of eyewear altogether. Both causes are avoidable.

Eye injuries in the workplace can be caused by various factors like airborne materials, chemical splash, direct impact from different materials, and environmental factors like ultraviolet light and glare. In addition, the combination of a diverse range of tasks performed in various workplace environments creates the potential for multiple risks. Therefore, job-specific risk assessments should define the type of eye protection to wear.

Various types of eye protection

Safety eyewear is primarily classified as either glasses or goggles, and for a good reason: the level of impact protection provided by each. Both glasses and goggles are available in safety prescription eyewear.

Safety glasses certified to the core EN166 standard protect against low energy impact, specifically up to 45 metres per second. On the other hand, safety goggles properly certified to EN166 provide medium energy impact protection of up to 120 metres per second and should be considered the mandatory option for those using high-power tools like nail guns or angle grinders. Safety glasses are not recommended for such applications.

Safety goggles are also recommended when there is a risk of a chemical or molten metal splash, exposure to gases or vapours that could be harmful to the eyes or working in environments with a high level of airborne particulates.

Choosing the best safety glasses

So, how do you pick the best pair of safety glasses? Employers have a duty of care to provide workers with appropriate PPE wherever the risk assessment deems it necessary. When selecting eye protection for your workforce, there are several factors to consider.

The first and most important consideration is that one size does not fit all. Because head and facial shapes vary, employees must be able to choose from various eyewear options. Participation in this process not only ensures a proper fit, which is critical for the wearer’s safety but also increases the likelihood that eyewear will be worn throughout the workday. A good fit also considers the wearability of eye protection and should include the following features.

  • Eyewear should provide a comfortable, low-pressure fit with even weight distribution. Eye protection made from injection-moulded hard and soft components around the brow, nose and side arms increases comfort while ensuring eyewear stays in place. Lens inclination and extendable side arms, for example, allow wearers to achieve the ultimate close fit to keep hazards out and enable them to work comfortably, confidently, and with as little distraction as possible.
  • The lens’s optical quality reduces eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Excellent optical quality lenses are free of aberrations and imperfections, allowing the wearer to see as close to naturally as possible. However, due to tiny distortions in the lens, low-quality eye protection can result in poor optical clarity, which is one of the leading causes of eye fatigue.
  • The effects of UV radiation on the skin are well known. However, the cumulative effect of UV radiation on our eyes is not well understood. Although only 7% of the population associates UV radiation with eye diseases, the eye is the most vulnerable organ to sun damage. Therefore, it’s critical to find a manufacturer that can provide UV protection.
  • The lens shade(s) chosen should be influenced by the type of environment in which the work is being done. Are employees, for example, working indoors under harsh, bright lights? Is it common for people to move between the indoors and outdoors, between light and shaded areas, or are they working outside in the sun, where the sun’s intensity can be a hazard in and of itself? Compliance is positively influenced by the use of environmentally friendly lens tints, as well as the highest quality lens engineering and performance.
  • Compatibility with other personal protective equipment (PPE) like respirators, hearing protection, and helmets should also be considered.

What about fogging?

Because safety glasses or goggles should fit close to the head to keep dirt and debris out, moisture can build up, especially if the wearer is doing a physical job, resulting in lens fogging. The type of coating required is determined by the environment and the application. Some coatings provide anti-fog performance on the inside of the lens, where it is most needed, and a scratch-resistant hard coat on the outside. Others are anti-fog and scratch resistant on the inside and outside, making them suitable for high-humidity environments.

However, not all anti-fog coatings are the same. The coating performance tests are optional for manufacturers, with the anti-fog coating required to perform for a minimum of eight seconds on first use. As a result, many coatings fail to provide long-term anti-fog performance.

Traditional hydrophobic anti-fog coatings are soap-based and wash away after a few washes, rendering the eye protection ineffective and unusable. In addition, when the performance of the lens coating deteriorates, employees try to compensate, and compliance falls, rendering the eye protection useless.

Contact Procon Marketing for details

Now you understand the significance of eye protection for your employees. Grange Workwear provides high-quality personal protective equipment, including safety glasses and safety goggles. Contact our team today for more information about our eye protection offers. Alternatively, please browse our website to find the right solution for your needs.