Making sure that your eyes are safeguarded when you are at work is just as important as keeping your ears protected. With a wide range of safety glasses available to purchase, it can be hard to determine which type are best suited for your needs. Here is our safety glasses buyer’s guide which will help you make a more informed decision.
When should safety glasses be worn?
The eyes can easily become damaged in the workplace, as there are many potential hazards that can be present. You can damage your cornea or eyeball through a variety of different ways including grease and oil burns, infrared or UV damage, or even as a result of flying debris. If you work within the medical profession and are dealing with chemicals or infectious diseases these can seep through the mucous membrane of the eye.
So as you can see, there are a range of different situations in which safety eyewear should be worn. The type of protective safety eyewear that you choose mainly depends on the environment in which you work. For example, if you are going to come across flying debris on a regular basis, you should ensure your safety glasses have protective side shields. If you work with dangerous chemicals, we would always advise that you wear full safety goggles with total coverage such as the Eiger safety goggle. If in doubt, it is always best to choose the safety eyewear that offers you the most protection!
How to keep safety glasses from fogging up
One of the most challenging things about safety glasses is wearing them all day without them fogging up! After all, you don’t want to have obstructed vision whilst you are trying to protect your eyes from harmful surroundings. This just extenuates the issue further, and can cause even more safety hazards.
Our first and foremost recommendation to solve this issue is that you choose Safety Eyewear with an Anti-Fog (or Anti-Mist) coating on the lens. A high quality Anti-Fog coating will keep the lens clear for long periods of use, and the Eyewear can be reused multiple times. It is also possible to use Anti-Fog wipes, which create a temporary layer which will behave in a similar way to a manufacturer-applied coating. There are even some ideas around about applying your own coating, but we would only recommend using the technology available that has been tested and certified according to the relevant safety regulations.
Comfort is important
It is highly likely that you will be wearing safety glasses for long periods of time, so comfort is essential when choosing the right eyewear. If they are too tight they will become uncomfortable, and may even give you headaches where they rub. On the other hand if they are too loose, they could slide off easily and not offer you much protection. It is advisable that you choose eyewear with soft-grip material in the side arms, which will hold the eyewear in place more securely. Safety goggles will come with elasticated headstraps, holding the eyepiece close and securely to the face. You should also keep in mind the weight of the product; lightweight eyewear will be easier to wear for longer periods of time.
When light hits a surface it reflects in a wide range of directions – think about when the sun is glaring in and hitting your television or computer screen. When this happens, it can cause a distracting and even hazardous glare. Exposing your eyes to this sort of glare on a regular basis can cause vision issues. This is why polarized lenses were designed for safety glasses, which reduces the amount of reflected light reaching the eye.
Other types of protection
1. UV Protection
If you are using safety glasses for outdoor work, you need to ensure that they have UV filters (EN 170). Your vision could significantly deteriorate if you don’t take certain safety precautions against UV radiation. The EN 170 standard of filter ensures that the protection levels for UV filters are met, reducing the damage to the eyes. If you are looking for a non-tint lens which provides UV protection, the Xcel Clear Anti-Scratch Safety Eyewear is a great fit.
2. Sun glare filters
This is not the same as UV protection, EN 172 is the standard for protection against sun glare when it comes to safety glasses. These types of eye protection often have a tint or shade – mainly in a Smoke-Grey colour like the Torino safety glasses. Sun glare is reduced by the tint, which not only helps to improve vision but also reduces the strain on the eyes.
3. Welding filters
EN 169 is the safety eyewear standard to look out for if you are carrying out welding or similar jobs. The Xcel light green safety glasses are manufactured to this standard; with a Shade rating of 1.7, they are ideally suited for protection whilst in the vicinity of welding. They have a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) of 55%, so they are not designed for dedicated welding work, although such eyewear is available from trusted suppliers.