You may be surprised to hear that about 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace each year. Imagine how much time off that equates to while staff recover from their injuries? That is before you even think about the loss of revenue to the business, medical expenses and compensation costs too! It really is mad when the solution is so simple – safety eyewear.
In the UK there are several regulations related to the provision of adequate safety eyewear: the Provision And Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002. Both of these go into extensive detail about the role of the employer and how to mitigate the risk of any accidents happening. The importance of safety glasses is a topic that really does need talking about.
Range of Eye Injuries
Whilst regulations are of course very important, eye injuries can include simple eye strain as well as severe trauma which can cause permanent damage. It is essential that once safety eyewear has been provided, it is constantly used when the worker is in an environment which could be a risk.
According to an NHS study, 60% of workers who received an injury at work were not wearing eye protection at the time, despite being allocated it. The more worrying statistic is that the other 40% of workers within this same study were wearing eye protection, but it was the incorrect type. This means either ill-fitting eye protection, or that it had been badly damaged. It really goes to show the importance of maintaining eye protection, and understanding the different eyewear that is required to protect against different hazards.
The list of possible hazards which could damage a person’s eyesight is endless. However, there are a few main risks to think about:
- Flying shards of metal or glass
- Tools that can easily slip
- Particles such as wood splinters or metal shavings
Often identifying the potential hazards is the hardest part, but once you have worked those out then you can see whether the environment requires workers to wear safety glasses. Some jobs have more unique hazards, such as bright light from welding, radiation in surgical environments, and laser beams accidentally pointing into the eyes.
Types of Safety Glasses
If you have had a browse through our range of safety glasses, you will have noticed that we have a very extensive range. This is because they all have different properties which offer varying levels of protection. Here are a few things to look out for when you are looking at the specifications:
1. Lens shapes
There are lots of different types of lens shapes depending on the style of the safety goggles. For a sportier feel there is the Merano anti-scratch safety eyewear, or on the other end of the spectrum you have the Visispec clear safety over spectacles. All safety glasses have a wrap-around lens and generally follow the contours of the face. Just beware of blind spots as some darker lenses can obstruct your side vision slightly.
2. Optical clarity
This means how well you can see out of the lens itself. Class 1 is the best level of optical clarity, and this type of safety eyewear can be worn continuously. The lowest is Class 3 and these are only suitable for intermittent use.
3. Mechanical strength
Mechanical strength refers to how much impact the safety glasses can withstand. The lower the impact rating, the lower level of protection is provided. So with mechanical strength, Low Energy Impact Rating ‘F’ provides the lowest level of protection. Energy Impact Rating ‘A’ is high, and ‘B’ is medium.
Get In Touch With Our Experts
If you are looking for safety glasses or safety eyewear but aren’t sure which offers the best protection for your working environment, contact the team at BETAFIT today who can assist you. Give us a call on 01472 867 467, or email us on [email protected]. We also have technical data sheets available for all of our products so you can see exactly what standards they are suitable for.