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eye protection

  • Workplace Safety: Eye Protection & 90% Injury Preventability

    workplace safety eye protectionThere's a lot of talk about workplace safety, but we find that one of the most overlooked aspects of personal protection on job sites is eye protection. Protecting your eyes at work is commonplace for welders and machinists, but there are hundreds of other occupations where eye injury is a real risk that often goes unacknowledged or ignored.
     
    If you're working with any of the following materials or tools, it's critical that you think twice about protecting your eyes:
     
    • Liquid Chemicals
    • Powdered Chemicals
    • Caustic Substances
    • Grinding/Cutting Tools
    • Granular Products or Materials
    • High Heat or Flammable Materials
    • Machines with Small Moving Parts
    • Airborne or Super-Lightweight Materials
    • Solvents and Cleaners
    • Heavy Machinery
    • Falling, Crumbling or Easily Breakable Materials/Products
    • Pressurized Products/Equipment/Materials
    • Sharp Objects or Sharp Moving Parts
    • Fibrous Materials or Products
    • Adhesives
    • Intense Light
     
    While the list may not be complete, it can provide some very real insight into the many ways your eyes can be harmed, by both accidents and/or long-term exposure.
     
    If there's any chance of something splashing, sparking, exploding, slivering, shattering, bursting, or blowing into your eyes, you need to utilize some sort of eye protection. Whether it's googles, safety glasses or a safety shield, it might prevent you from losing your vision or suffering irreversible damage that can be debilitating, painful and costly.
     
    According to the CDC, here are over 2,000 work-related eye injuries each day that require medical treatment in the US. ABout a third, or 650+ of those require emergency room visits.
     
    Even when wearing eye protection, studies have shown that 40% of these eye injuries occur when people are wearing eye protection - but wearing the improper type or wearing them wrong way was a major factor. While certain eye injuries can happen even when eye protection is properly utilized, the majority of injuries in which eye protection was being used is due to safety glasses without side shields.
     
    Not surprisingly, almost 70% of all accidents involving eye injury occur from flying or falling objects, sparks and debris striking the eye. Of the injured workers themselves, 3/5 of them estimate that the particle causing the damage was smaller than a pinhead and traveling faster than an object that had been thrown. This valuable insight, along with other statistics tells us that tiny, fast moving particles are the most common cause of eye injuries. There are many ways this can occur, from a simple gust of wind to piece of aluminum dust being thrown up by a sander or cutting tool.
     
    Accidents happen, that why they're called accidents. However, eye injuries are one of the only injuries that experts claim to be 90% avoidable.
     
    We often take our eyes for granted, but we need to make a better effort to expect the unexpected. It might take some getting used to and it may be a minor annoyance, but improving your use of eye protection could end up saving your sight and your career. Life is too short to suffer avoidable accidents, and it only makes sense to protect your eyes from common workplace hazards.
     
    Learn more about eye protection from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the CDC's Eye Safety Resources & Information page. Stay safe out there!
     

  • A Unique Look At The Real Importance Of PPE

    It's quite likely that you've been told the importance of using personal protection equipment (PPE) on the job. You've watched the videos, you've seen the safety posters and you've heard the horror stories. It doesn't matter whether you work in a low-risk or high-risk environment, PPE can save your limbs and even your life.
     
    In this video, we're going to take a look at a very unique (and effective) approach to explaining the importance of utilizing the proper PPE. There's no boring statistics, no endless rambling and no sales pitch - just some creative examples of PPE use that everyone should be able to relate to. Enjoy!
     

  • A Brief History of Eye Protection in the Workplace

    safety sunglassesThanks to the technological advancements and manufacturing breakthroughs of the last 15 to 20 years, there have been some major advancements in the quality of protective eye wear. Long gone are the days of large, bulky, uncomfortable box-like lenses featuring crude rubber headbands and rather unappealing characteristics.

     
    Today we have the luxury of comfortable, distortion free safety eye wear with a wide range of styles and options, many of which have been intentionally designed for executing specific tasks within the workplace. From scratch resistant to bullet proof, from anti-fog to anti-glare, technology is being used to develop eyewear that makes your job easier and safer than ever.

     

    The Origins of Eye Safety

    While it's hard to put an exact time on the invention of safety glasses, optical aids have been in common use since the early 11th century when pieces of convex glass were used to magnify images and text. While the first written historical record of magnification in general dates back to the 1st Century AD, the invention of actual eyeglasses wasn't until the 13th Century. It was in Italy around the year 1286 that the first pair were made, however it's said that the inventor was unwilling to share the technology with others. A short time after, a man by the name of Alessandro Spina was making eyeglasses and happily sharing his newfound feat with the public, even selling them. The image to the right is a portrait of the renown biblical scholar Hugh de Provence. While only a portrait, is the first pictoral evidence of eyeglass use and is dated from 1352. Not much more than mere spectacles, these early models did feature convex lenses that were capable of correcting farsightedness.

     

    As time passed and things progressed, the designs became more functional and effective. Fast forward to 1880, when Powell Johnson had invented and patented something known as the "eye protector". This was the first form of widespread protective eye wear. The eye protector was created for furnace men, puddlers, firemen and others who needed visual protection from strong lights or intense glare.

     

    20th Century Eye Safety

    With the 20th Century's mass influx of technology and the industrial revolution, it's no surprise that safety glasses had naturally evolved also. The demand became very high as the need for eye protection in the workplace rose dramatically. Welders, fabricators, scientists, chemists, surgeons, etc. are just a few of the many occupations where the absence of eye safety would be considered detrimental to a worker's health and well-being. By the 40's, it wouldn't be uncommon to find a pair of safety goggles lying around the house or garage, wherever hand tools were stored.

     

    Due to employment acts, workers rights and workplace protection legislation, it's now a commonplace requirement that people in certain professions are equipped with proper eye wear which is often to be provided at the cost of the employer. Production of complex liquids, fluids, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals has caused the demand for safety glasses to increase nearly ten-fold over the last 30 years alone.

     

    Recent Advancements in Eye Safety

    As the technology for reading glasses and vision correction has improved greatly, so has that of protective eye wear. Safety goggles and glasses are now made for practically any application imaginable. Protection from lasers, corrosive chemicals and even gunfire are readily available from many dedicated manufacturers who have spent thousands of hours performing research and testing to perfect their designs.

     

    Most safety glasses are now made from high-impact polycarbonate materials that are lightweight and offer 99.99% protection from UVA and UVB rays. Advancements in lens technology has also helped to greatly reduce eye strain and fatigue, improve visibility, and offer a wider field of view for enhanced safety.

     

    While certain eye safety products are geared towards outdoor work and sun protection, others are designed specifically for optimal vision when used in an indoor environment. Some manufacturers have went as far as identifying the various spectrum of light produced by different light sources and have developed glasses that maximize vision and clarity for these situations. Metal Halide and Mercury Vapor lighting is commonly used in warehouses, and Bollé Safety has designed lenses intended solely for these environments. The same approach has been applied to fluorescent lighting as well.

     

    In other work environments, light may not be nearly as much of a concern as airborne particulates. Whether it's wood, metal or fine dust, particles that reach the eyes can cause irritation, swelling, discomfort and even injury. In the case of working with caustic chemicals or soluble powders, even a tiny amount of exposure can cause extreme pain, nerve damage or blindness. While sealed goggles are an easy solution, they don't breathe well and are generally uncomfortable for extended use, prompting manufacturers to integrate comfort features such as indirect ventilation, hi-tech foam padded frames and moisture resistant coatings.

     

    Outdoor work is typically more focused on sun protection. The glasses are often called safety sunglasses, because they look like normal sunglasses but usually have high-impact frames and fog resistant lenses. These glasses are generally close fitting and utilize a high-contour design to prevent materials or objects from reaching the eyes should they become airborne. Rubber tips, temple areas and no-slip nose pads are usually included for comfort and to ensure the glasses stay put even during vigorous activity. Safety sunglasses are most widely used among construction workers, athletes and anything else outdoors where vision damage poses a potential risk.

     

    After over a century of eye safety innovation, improvements are still being made to keep your eyes protected from the elements. If you can benefit from eye protection in the workplace, it's strongly recommended that you take advantage of it.

     

    To view a complete selection of top brand safety glasses and other eye protection for the workplace, be sure to click hereand take a look around.

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