For those people who work in certain industries and occupations, the use of personal protective equipment, particularly protective eyewear, is a must for their safety. Failure to follow established safety protocols has all too often resulted in a loss of vision, loss of an eye, life-altering burns to the face and eyes, and many other tragic events. By taking the time to become familiar with the types of protective eyewear needed for a particular job, many accidents could be avoided.
Welding Eye Protection
Welding is one of the most dangerous occupations when it comes to eye injuries. Between the heat generated by the torch, the sparks that fly during the welding, and the brightness of the sparks, there is much that can go wrong if the user is not wearing protective eyewear. Most welding jobs require wearing a full-face welding mask that covers the entire head to guard against fire or other accidents. These masks are fitted with a tinted shield to cover the eyes and protect against the extreme light produced by the flame. With temperatures reaching into the thousands of degrees, wearing protective eyewear is definitely the smart thing to do when welding.
Construction Safety Glasses
Construction work is hazardous enough when following safety rules, and can be much more so if not. Wearing disposable safety glasses for such tasks as grinding or handling hazardous chemicals can mean the difference between a job proceeding as normal or a trip to the emergency room. For construction workers who wear prescription glasses, prescription safety glasses should be used instead of regular glasses. Another option for wearers of prescription glasses are OTG or “Over-the-Glasses” safety glasses, which are designed to be worn over prescription glasses. In hazardous environments, wearing regular glasses will actually increase the risk of injury. However, if a worker only visits construction sites occasionally, it may only be necessary to add side shields for prescription glasses instead.
Medical Lab Goggles and Face Shields
Medical labs are perhaps the most dangerous environment when it comes to protecting one’s eyes. Lab technicians are responsible for handling various bodily fluids, especially blood, and must take every precaution to protect themselves from coming in contact with potentially infectious materials. To protect themselves, these workers usually wear full-face shields to guard against blood or other fluids or chemicals splashing into their faces. Some technicians, particularly phlebotomists, will use disposable safety glasses when drawing blood from patients.
Manufacturing Eye Protection
Workers employed in various types of manufacturing environments may also be required to wear protective equipment for their eyes. Workers who are responsible for using equipment that grinds metals or other materials, assembles items such as automobiles, or manufactures hazardous materials such as munitions need to take every precaution. In these jobs, having the correct safety glasses is a must to prevent pieces of metal, chemicals or other small particles from entering one’s eyes. Depending on a worker’s particular job, it may only be necessary to use side shields for prescription glasses.
Whatever occupation a person has, taking the necessary safety precautions is the smart thing to do. Rules are there for a reason, and breaking rules designed to protect can often be the difference between life and death, or at the least serious injury.