Splashes of chemicals, steam burns, foreign objects in the eyes, scratches on the cornea – these are all common eye injuries that occur in the workplace.
And they are all preventable.
“There are countless statistics showing that a high percentage (some suggest as high as 90%) of eye injuries occur because people don’t wear eye protection,” says Matt Block, director of health and safety services. security at Magid. “It is essential to strike a balance between protection and employee comfort” to ensure that workers wear protective eyewear.
With Block, Safety + Health spoke to Jason Lee, Head of Health and Safety Services at Magid, and Zach Richmond, Group Product Manager at Milwaukee Tool, about what’s new in the eye protection industry. and face protection, what they hear from customers, and what they want employers and workers to understand better about the use of eye and face protection.
What would you like employers and workers to understand better about using eye and face protection in the workplace?
Lee: It is not enough to have the right safety equipment. If the PPE is poorly fitted or poorly donned, it may not properly protect workers, if at all. One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a different shaped face and nose. Several options may be necessary to ensure that everyone is properly protected.
Richmond: Historically, there has been a tipping point between anti-scratch and anti-fog – normally goggles will excel in one or the other, but not both. When choosing safety glasses, it is imperative that users evaluate their most frequent applications and jobsite conditions to decide which are the most important and choose appropriately.
What concerns or questions do customers have about eye and face protection, and what advice do you provide?
Richmond: Safety glasses have been a staple on the job site for years, but recently with the demands of the mask mandate, workers have to use them simultaneously with respirators, face covers and / or face shields. For many, these new requirements have led to a constant imbalance between glasses and face covers. Unfortunately, there is no comfortable compromise, and this imbalance often results in constant lens fogging, headaches, or irritation from poorly fitted gear.
Lee: With establishments only recently starting to withdraw from their face covering policies, this remains a big concern. My response is to address the fit of the PPE as a whole. We know that anti-fog lenses work well under normal circumstances, and wearing face covers is standard practice for industrial reasons as well. Making sure the face covers are snug and not venting towards the eyes was the best solution.
To block: Most of the concerns I encounter today are about reducing lens fogging. Employees remove safety glasses to solve this problem, which greatly increases the risk of injury. This has led to an advancement in lens coating technology with premium anti-fog lenses.
What are the recent innovations in eye and face protection?
Lee: On the service side, we’ve seen a trend among businesses looking for self-service options when it comes to fit and selection of safety glasses. Add COVID-19 into the mix and this trend has continued to advance at a rapid pace with on-premise and online options.
To block: Most innovations in prescription safety glasses have been made in lens technology, such as blue light filtering lenses or lenses that are perfectly clear on the inside, darken on the outside in seconds. and become clear very quickly.
Compiled with the help of International Association of Safety Equipment
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