Safety glasses are one of the most important tools you have in the workplace regarding safety. There are many components of personal protective equipment in the workplace, but safety glasses are the most critical. Why? Because without vision, most other activities in the workplace are compromised in terms of safe operations.
Additionally, our eyes are among our most valuable sensory organs. However, they are fragile and easy to injure, especially in industrial environments or sports activities. Multitudes of people every year suffer from eye injuries that didnâ€™t have to happen. The injuries could be avoided or at the very least, less severe with proper safety glasses and other precautions.
Why Are Safety Lenses So Important?
You might be surprised to realize just how many people think safety glasses are more about the frame with just regular plastic lenses in them. They think wrap-around lenses or side Shields are what make up a good pair of safety glasses. However, although the frames do play a part the most critical role is safety lenses for avoiding direct injury to the eyeball.
This is very important considering how many eye injuries are encountered every year in the workplace alone. That is not even counting eye injuries resulting from certain hobbies that involve high-risk situations. Hobbies such as motorcycle riding, beach volleyball, and various shooting sports all present a considerably higher risk of eye injury than just day-to-day activities.
In fact, take a look had some interesting information regarding eye injuries in the workplace alone. Some of the data presented here is alarming but also makes a clear case for proper safety lenses.
Workplace Eye Injury Stats
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has documented that nearly 20,000 cases of eye injuries in the workplace are reported annually. They range in terms of severity, from something like minor irritations to extreme trauma which results in a permanent loss of vision. Sadly, many of these injuries could have been outright prevented if the proper safety glasses were worn and OSHA safety protocols
High-Risk Work Environments
Work environments have a huge impact on the risk level for eye injury. Certain industries pose greater risks due to the nature of the work involved as well as the environment itself.
Having the right safety lenses in any of these environments can make the difference between avoiding eye injury and losing your vision due to an accident in the workplace.
When we discuss accidents in the workplace that cause eye injury there tend to be a few common accidents that happen across any industry. These often include:
Flying Objects such as wood chips, small mechanical parts, foliage debris, metal shards, and other dangerous materials can scratch the cornea or even rupture an eyeball without proper protection.
Chemicals that come into contact with the eye in even the smallest amount, can cause a permanent loss of vision in the worst-case scenario. Substances such as solvents, acids, cleaning chemicals, and other caustic substances need to be protected against.
Tool and Machinery accidents account for an overwhelming amount of eye injuries in the workplace. Environments such as construction sites that use power tools, welding torches, and other machinery are rife with potential hazards. Accidents such as malfunctions from a power tool such as a circular saw, or a machine breakdown that shoots out fragments of metal can be devastating for a worker.
Dust and Particles in the work environment such as is the case in the landscaping industry where there is debris from foliage, dirt, blades of grass, and other matter can damage the unprotected eye. However, with the proper safety lenses in combination with the proper frames, these accidents can be avoided.
Impact on Vision & Financial Losses
Injuries in the workplace can have long-term effects that can have a serious impact on more than just your vision. While severe injuries may cause partial or complete vision loss the fact that it leads to permanent disability impacts you also financially. It takes away your innate ability to create income for yourself as well as be productive as you once were before the accident.
From an employer’s perspective, it can cost them severely as well. There are things like workers’ compensation, and often there is a lawsuit involved which can wipe out your business. This is why it’s critical to provide employees with all of the proper safety gear including glasses with the proper safety lenses.
That being said safety lenses come in many different configurations to protect against various hazards one might encounter. They include different variations of materials based on the characteristics of the material used and what it can protect against.
Materials Used For Eye Protection
Safety lenses come in a wide variety of material properties. For example, some offer impact resistance, and some offer features to boost visual clarity. Also, some lenses offer features that are specific to industry standards to combat the risks involved in that particular industry. Some of the most common lens material include:
PolycarbonateÂ lenses are the lightest material among safety lenses. They offer exceptional impact resistance and protect against things like flying debris. They are best suited for places such as construction sites and industrial manufacturing plants.
TrivexÂ lenses offer similar impact protection but due to their composition have much better optical clarity. Constructed from a urethane-based pre-polymer, these lenses are perfect for environments where you must be able to see minute details.
GlassÂ lenses are hands down the leader for optical clarityâ€” thereâ€™s nothing better. However, where they lack in terms of safety, is that their impact resistance is low. If flying debris hits the lenses more than likely they will shatter. Because they are glass that also poses a risk of injury in and of itself should you get a glass Shard in your eye. That’s why glass lenses are best suited for environments that only need the highest level of optical clarity and no need for impact resistance.
Get The Right Safety Lenses For Your Glasses
Listen, we know safety glassesâ€”the lenses, the coatings, the specialized frames and most of allâ€”We know how to guide you to the right pair for you. All that takes is a phone call or some type of contact from you, tell us a bit about your workplace environment, and we’ll get you the perfect pair recommended. Yes, it is really that simple so contact us today!