How to know which protective eyewear/prescription safety glasses are right for your workplace
Work-related injuries are a serious matter, but sadly one that is no longer new or surprising. The statistics show that there are an average of 27.32 fatal occupational injuries out of 100,000 workers, in Canada. This number does not only indicate how common injuries might be, they also show that we could do better in terms of safety measures being taken in the workplace. A series of safety precautions and protective wear has been developed in order to keep employers safe at all times, with the most common example being safety helmets or hard hats. Although protective eyewear has been able to prevent up to 90% of workplace injuries, there are still 700,000 emergency cases of eye injuries at work each year, cases that would have been entirely preventable had the workers been using protective eyewear.
It’s clear that not all jobs will require you to have protective eyewear at all times, but there are a few industries where this is a must, such as manufacturing, construction, production, installation, maintenance and repair, to name a few. In these types of professions, no one would think twice before buying a good and sturdy safety helmet because everyone understands the need to protect themselves. Eyewear must have the same value, which means investing in a solid pair of protective safety glasses should be at the top of the list when it comes to keeping yourself safe while at work. However, how do you know what standards make a pair of protective eyewear good for your workplace? What should you look for? How can you know if it is dependable?
With workplace eye injuries remaining prevalent, you should put your eye safety first. The following tips will help you choose the right safety glasses for your workplace.
Choosing protective eyewear that works for you
According to the CDC, more than 2000 job-related eye injuries occur every day3, with 40% of these injuries occurring in the construction, mining, and manufacturing industries.4 Healthcare workers also report a high number of eye injuries occurring on the job. The majority of eye injuries occurring in the workplace are a result of particles or small objects hitting the eyes, such as dust, wood chips, and metal, and if it’s windy, these objects can easily strike, scrape or enter the eyes.
Regardless of your area of expertise, it seems more and more jobs are benefiting from using the right type of protection, but the specific type that will most benefit you will largely depend on the nature of your job. There may be many materials you will be exposed to as well as other dangers (i.e. moving objects) depending on your industry.
When choosing your protective eyewear, here are the steps we recommend you follow:
1. Know what to expect
The first step to choosing the right protective eyewear is to understand the types of hazards you can expect. From impact to high energy radiation (i.e. UV, extreme heat etc.), the exact kind of hazard you will be exposed to is greatly determined by the nature of your work.
Individuals in the manufacturing and construction industry are prone to impact from particle dirt, large chips, and fragments. Welders are prone to heat hazards, molten metals, and hot sparks. Lab technicians, on the other hand, are exposed to chemicals and dangerous substances.
If you are new in your field and are unsure of what type of hazards you can expect to be exposed to, ask the experienced professionals around you, and once you are aware of your situation then we can help you be prepared for what your job will entail.
2. Know the types of lenses in different safety glasses
Once you are clear on the risks and hazards associated with your profession, we can move on to choosing the exact pair of eyewear that will best withstand those conditions.
There are three major types of lenses available: glass, plastic, and polycarbonate.
- Although they do exist and can be bought in certain stores, protective eyewear with glass lenses is not very common and is used in very specific situations. Glass lenses are prone to scratches and can shatter if dropped, which is why we don’t find them to be the best option but they could potentially work depending on the type of job you have.
- Plastic lenses, on the other hand, are durable and they do not break easily. They are lightweight and easy to wear, which makes them a common choice, but we must add that these types of lenses are prone to scratches which, depending on your line of work, could be an issue.
- Polycarbonate lenses are a better option because of their increased protection, strength and durability. These lenses are lightweight and can be coated for further protection against ultraviolet rays. Overall, this might be the safest choice in the market and we believe they could withstand a wide range of activities.
Now that you know your available options for protective eyewear, think about the hazard you will face in your job and make an informed decision about the level of protection you might need. The more danger or risk of injury you might face, the higher the protection level you will need.
3. Go for an eye test
Our tips so far have been assuming that you are aware of the status of your vision and that your eyesight is healthy, but this might not always be the case. If you currently need eyeglasses and need to also get protective eyewear, we have you covered. Your eye health will always be our top priority, and as such we have great news: there is no need for you to use your protective eyewear on top of your regular eyeglasses. Although it is technically possible, we don’t want you to take any chances with your health. Having two sets of glasses on is uncomfortable and might leave room for small particles to enter your eyes and that is a risk we do not want you to take. That is why we can custom make a wide range of prescription safety glasses for your specific needs. Contact lenses can also be a great option if you prefer not to have prescription safety glasses and use non-prescription safety glasses when wearing contact lenses. With this in mind, we recommend that you make an appointment for an eye test before setting out and buying a pair of safety glasses. This will help you determine which type of prescription you will require for your protective eyewear.
If you don’t currently wear eyeglasses, we still believe this to be an important step. If your job will require you to face some risks and potentially dangerous situations then it’s only natural to make sure your eyesight is as healthy and sharp as possible. You can visit our website to book an appointment for a simple eye test, you can even browse our selection of safety glasses while you are there and leave with the perfect pair that meets both your safety and vision needs.
4. Make sure your safety glasses are up to standard
Finally, regardless of whether you opt for prescription safety glasses or non-prescription protective eyewear, your safety remains our top priority. As such, we adhere to the Canadian government’s standard for these types of glasses, and recommend that you ensure your safety glasses meet the following criteria:
- Be light and comfortable
- Your field of vision has no obstructions
- Block harmful radiation, should that be something you need in your line of work
- Be scratch resistant
- Lenses engraved with ANSI/CSA Safety Standard marking based on workplace and WSIB regulations. Ask us to learn more.
Eye safety should be a priority at all times.
Your general eye health will always be our main priority, and that includes the safety of your eyes at all times, especially in your working environment. After you are certain of the type of risks and hazards you will be exposed to, selecting the best safety glasses for you should be at the top of your list and we hope our tips have made it easier for you to get started on that process. Our guide is bound to help you purchase the perfect eyewear for your situation. We promise you, this will be an investment you will not regret as you only have one pair of eyes for the gift of sight. Protect it at all costs.
If you need professional help in selecting your safety glasses, you can also contact us and allow our team of experts to advise you. Our broad range of protective eyewear is sure to be a good starting point for you and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have. Call us at 647-952-1099 or find the location that is closest to you and let’s make sure you are ready for any type of job without compromising your eye health and safety.