Eye Protection hazards exist within many workplace settings and the most common eye injuries are caused from objects or particles, such as dust or glass, scraping or striking the eye. While 61 percent of eye injuries occur in manufacturing, construction or trade jobs, they are also common in offices, hospitals and laboratories. Victims reason for wrong eye protection or none at all, giving three out of five workplace eye injuries.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration imposes stringent safety eyewear requirements in all workplace environments that put a worker’s eyes at risk. Despite this, about 700,000 job-related eye injuries occur each year, carrying an annual price tag of approximately$467 million in direct and indirect costs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A well-implemented safety eyewear program protects not only a company’s valued employees, but its own bottom line as well.
OSHA mandates that workplace safety eyewear complies with the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Different types of safety eyewear suit different purposes. The main types include:
- Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses: Mostly used for protection from debris, dust, chips or flying particles. Side shields and wraparound-style safety glasses provide additional protection from dangers in the periphery. Safety lenses are available in various materials, even though polycarbonate lenses are regarded as the most effective due to their impact
resistance. Although sturdier, safety eyeglasses look very similar to regular eyeglasses and can include a variety of optional features.
- Goggles: These provide a protective shield around the eyes to secure against many hazards, including impact, dust and chemical splashes. Goggles can be worn over prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses for extra security.
- Face shields and helmets: Usually for welding work with rusty molten materials, face shields and helmets protect from heat, chemical or blood borne pathogens should be used in conjunction with safety glasses or goggles.