Eye protection is vital in workplaces where workers are exposed to projectiles, chemical burns, and metal splashes. According to NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), nearly 2000 eye injuries occur each day in the U.S due to eye scraping or thermal burns.
So, what necessary measures should employers take to avoid eye injuries? Is there any certain way to prevent eye injuries in the workplace? Wearing protective eyewear is one of the most helpful solutions to overcome this problem. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires every employer to provide safety glasses for workers. Therefore, it is crucial to know why it is needed in workplaces and where it is used. So, let’s dive into why workers should wear this eyewear.
Reasons to wear safety glasses
Safety glasses are perfect eyewear to protect the eye from dust, dangerous metal, wood chips, and chemical splashes. In some occupations such as plumbing, welding, machinery, and timber cutting, employees are exposed to various eye injuries. So, it necessitates using safety goggles in such occupations. Here are three reasons why you need to wear it in hazardous workplaces.
1. Workplace injuries are unavoidable.
Workplace incidents happen without any warning. There are times when small particles project from workpieces or sawing. As a result, they may cause scraping or thermal burns. Wearing effective safety goggles would lower the possibility of eye injuries.
2. Safety glasses protect eyes from chemical splashes.
Some jobs, including gardening, require workers to spray chemical pesticides to control pests. So, their eyes are exposed to chemicals emitted from pesticides. Consequently, it leads to eye swelling or even blurred eyesight. Therefore, it is important to wear safety goggles in these workplaces.
3. Safety glasses protect the eyes from radiation.
Welding is a dangerous job that makes it necessary to wear safety goggles. When welding, harmful energies radiate from lasers. To prevent sparks and flying objects from hitting the eyes, workers should wear goggles to avoid injuries.
It is also necessary to wear this protective eyewear on sunny days or in polluted environments. If workers are exposed too much to UV radiation on hot days for a long period, it can cause decreased vision.
In what industries are safety glasses required?
OSHA requires employers to ensure that their workers wear PPE to prevent eye injuries. Many industries require workers to use goggles to protect themselves from splash and flying particles. These industries are listed below:
What type of safety glasses are OSHA-approved?
Under OSHA eye and protection regulation (1910.133), all employers shall ensure that their workers use OSHA-approved goggles. Also, it has listed appropriate shade numbers for filter lenses. OSHA-approved goggles should meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard for various operations, including arc welding, torch brazing, torch soldering, etc. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) sets this standard for” safety goggles, side shields, and other eye and face protection devices.”
Safety glass disadvantages
Apart from the perks that a nifty safety Google can offer, this piece of equipment has several drawbacks. Various complaints have been reported according to some employees. Let’s see what they are.
1. Eye strain
In workplaces where employees are exposed to extreme light for long hours, wearing safety goggles can cause eye strain. As a result, the eyes get tired, and the worker feels eye fatigue because of overworking. Also, a poor glass would double the eye fatigue. Therefore, a worker may be reluctant to wear safety glasses.
2. Poor colouration
Many safety goggles on the market have different colours that might absorb too much light for workers. Additionally, it is hard for pupils to adjust the incoming light when moving from indoors to outdoors when light changes. So, this shifting from a darker to a lighter place needs light adaptation. Thus, it tires out the eyes.
3. Wrong fit
Every person has a distinct nose and face shape. Manufacturers treat safety eyeglasses as if they are one-size-fits-all. So, a set of goggles may not conform to all face shapes. Thus, eyeglasses can’t rest on nose bridges comfortably, which would affect work efficiency.
4. Safety glasses Vs Goggles
Although safety glasses and goggles are the same face PPE regarding their protection, they vary in some aspects. One difference is that goggles are held by straps that you can adjust, whereas safety glasses are held on the face with arms. Another notable difference is that safety glasses are a better option to protect eyes from flying objects because of their tough frames and lenses.
Safety goggles are protective eyewear safeguarding eyes from flying particles, metal/wooden chips, and chemical splashes. Working in hazardous workplaces such as construction sites or assembly lines requires employees to wear safety glasses. So, it is crucial to use goggles in industries where workers are exposed to eye hazards.
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