Safety glasses can protect the wearer’s eyes during any type of work. It is important to match the protective ratings of frames and lenses for occupational eyewear to the hazards present on a job site or in a workplace. Here are five reasons why you should wear eyewear designed to shield your eyes from specific safety risks posed by your work environment.
1. Many Eye Injuries Occur on the Job
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that about 2,000 workers in the United States require medical treatment for eye injuries suffered on the job every day. Construction, manufacturing, and trade jobs have the most eye safety hazards, though risks are also present in laboratories, garages, and other workplaces. For this reason, it is worthwhile to wear prescription glasses that have durable frames and shatter-resistant lenses or non-prescription eye protection with the same features in high-risk environments.
2. Safety Frames and Lenses Can Prevent Injuries
Prevent Blindness America, an eye health and safety organization, reports that wearing safety glasses can prevent up to 90% of the approximately 800,000 eye injuries Americans suffer every year on the job. You should select glasses rated to protect your eyes from known hazards to significantly reduce your risk of eye injury. Look for eyewear that meets American National Standards Institute or U.S. federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration specifications.
3. Prescription Safety Glasses Do Double Duty
Many prescription-ready frames are designed to withstand impact. Check to see whether frames meet ANSI Z87.1 standards and then select prescription shatter-resistant lenses. Safety lenses that meet this standard are marked with Z87 for a basic impact or Z87+ for a high-velocity impact rating. It is important to make sure that prescription lenses meet safety standards for impact, droplet, dust, splash, or optical radiation resistance.
4. Safety Eyewear Protects Your Favorite Glasses
Investing in a pair of safety frames to wear to work can protect your favorite casual, fashion, or lifestyle frames. Safety eyewear can keep your favorite glasses from becoming damaged or potentially contributing to an eye injury that occurs at work. You should avoid wearing glasses that are not safety rated in working environments that have known eye safety hazards.
5. Wearing PPE Promotes Workplace Safety
When you wear safety eyewear at work, you may be setting a safe example for others. Employees who do not wear glasses for vision correction may forget to put on non-prescription eye safety PPE. Workplaces where eye safety hazards are present and safety eyewear is not always worn, run unnecessarily high risks of accidents and preventable injuries. Promoting the use of safety goggles, glasses, or face shields can promote a culture of safety in any workplace.
Wearing safety glasses protects your eyes and sets a good example for other people in the workplace. There is no reason to risk preventable eye injuries from impact and exposure to particulate, liquid, or light radiation hazards. Choose safety frames and lenses that have an ANSI Z87.1 rating for impact resistance or meet any other relevant standards and requirements for eye protection at work.