Protective Eyewear: Do You Really Need It?

Protective Eyewear

Yes. Protective eyewear can make the difference between escaping injury and suffering blindness.

Sadly, eye injuries affect almost 2,000 people every day during work hours, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Eye doctors report that about 90 percent of work-related eye injuries could have been prevented or minimized through the use of protective eyewear.

Potential Eye Hazards You May Face

Foreign objects traveling at high speeds are the main cause of eye injuries. The object might be a substance as minor as dust particles or something major, like a piece of concrete or other type of building material.

Your eyes also could come into contact with harsh chemicals in certain industries. Even the fumes might be enough to cause vision damage. Lasers, ultraviolet light and radiation all have the potential to cause drastic harm as well.

Medical situations, such as getting patient fluids including blood or urine in your eyes, cannot only be dangerous, but life-threatening. Such accidents might result in whole-body infections such as HIV or other diseases.

How Does a Product Qualify as Protective Eyewear?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determines if a product can be officially classified as protective eyewear based on certain tests. The main two classifications of protection levels are basic-impact or high-impact. To be rated as either, eyewear must pass certain tests.

Basic-impact lenses must be able to withstand a one-inch steel ball dropped onto it from a height of 50 feet. The high-impact lenses must be able to withstand a quarter-inch steel ball shot at the lens at a high speed — 150 feet per second.

In either case, if the eyewear sustains any damage, it does not meet qualifying standards.

Change Your Type of Eyewear Based on the Situation

You should select eye protection based on the circumstances under which you work.

For example, working in an environment with flying debris requires the use of glasses that also have shields on either side. If you might be exposed to any fumes or airborne chemicals, wear tight-fitting goggles. Any work scenarios involving radiation require the use of eyewear that has been tested to withstand certain temperatures and environments.

If you take proactive measures to ensure you’re protected, you can avoid injury.

Call Salt Lake Eye Associates today and ask more about how protective eyewear can preserve your health and vision for the long-term.