Essentials of Proper Eye Protection

14.04.17 Posted By Gopher Industrial

Safety GlassesWorkplace accidents are often preventable with the right safety gear. This is particularly true when it comes to eye injuries. Dust, debris and anything flying around in the air or even dangerous lights and fumes can cause major injuries to the eyes. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to make sure employees are wearing eye protection, like the safety products available from Gopher Industrial. Let’s discuss some of the essentials of proper eye protection.

What Are Potential Eye Hazards in the Workplace?

The exact types of eye hazards a worker may be exposed to are dependent upon the job and work environment. For example, carpenters are vulnerable to getting wood shavings in their eyes, while chemical process operators could be exposed to fumes and liquids that could burn their eyes. Here is a list of some other types of potential eye hazards in the workplace:

  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Metal
  • Hot liquids
  • Solvents
  • Tree limbs
  • Objects hitting the eye
  • Radiant energy
  • Sparks

Proper eye protection should protect the wearer from any type of eye hazard they may encounter in the workplace.

Misconceptions about Eye Protection

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions when it comes to eye protection. One of the biggest misunderstandings about eye protection is that wearing prescription glasses means you don’t need to take additional protective measures. The reality is that prescription glasses don’t offer the right protection. They can’t protect you from certain types of hazards because they don’t offer the proper coverage and aren’t durable enough. Therefore, they are not acceptable on their own as eye protection.

Employees need to make sure they are wearing safety goggles or safety glasses that are made for their prescription. It is important that the protective glasses fit properly, so simply using regular safety glasses worn over prescription glasses may not work. Additionally, any safety glasses worn should still allow the worker to be able to see clearly.

Another major misconception is that eye protection isn’t always needed. Some workers may be tempted to skip proper eye protection if they are only doing a quick task or small job, but this can lead to disastrous results.

What Guidelines Should Be Followed When Choosing Eye Protection?

So what standards should proper eye protection meet? The type of eye protection is dependent on the occupation, but the general guidelines remain largely the same regardless of the type of eye protection worn.

  • They should cover the eye area adequately to protect against the types of hazards at the workplace.
  • They should fit well so they do not slide or move.
  • They should be comfortable to wear.
  • They should not restrict vision.
  • They should be durable.

Types of Appropriate Eye Protection

Gopher Industrial sells many different types of eye protection that meets the above guidelines. Choosing which one works in your situation is going to be dependent on your working conditions. You have to consider which type will offer you to best protection. This may actually vary from person to person, so it’s really a good idea that you consider all the options before buying. Here are some types of eye safety equipment:

  • Safety glasses are perhaps the best known type of eye protection. They are similar to regular prescription glasses, except that they often have extended protection to prevent debris from getting in through the side, top or bottom of the glasses. The lenses are made of strong plastic that is shatterproof.
  • Goggles are like safety glasses except they fit tightly on the face, providing completely sealed off protection for the eye area.
  • Made specifically for welders, welding shields cover the whole face and usually feature a window lens to see out of. They are made of strong materials that are resistant to burns. The lens is made of special material to protect against the light.
  • Laser safety goggles are a special type of goggle designed for those working with lasers. They protect against the light and come in a variety of styles to be used within different environments.
  • A face shield is a transparent shield that completely covers a person’s face from chin to forehead and ear to ear. A shield can be made to protect against different types of light. They are often used to protect against dust and splashes. They aren’t impact resistant, though.

When choosing the type of eye protection to use, it is very important to think about working conditions and know specifically what hazards are most likely to occur. This will allow you to choose the most adequate protection. Likewise, there’s a good chance that OSHA has regulations in place regarding proper eye protection for your occupation. Gopher Industrial offers a wide variety of high quality, dependable eye protection options to meet almost any industrial or commercial need.