Safety glasses don’t get the job done in all situations, and while some gear might seem better than none, the wrong gear can lead to eye injuries when you work with chemicals, fire or heat, tools and moving parts. The National Safety Council recommends that workers always wear appropriate eye protection and that they inspect their gear before each use.
Spectacles, or safety glasses, provide a flat cover over the eye. They might be similar to regular eyeglasses or provide additional coverage via larger lenses and side walls. The NSC recommends that side-shield spectacles be worn for safety. These types of glasses are useful in protecting against general impacts, slight debris and optical radiation.
Goggles usually provide more protection than spectacles because they fit flush to your face, reducing the chance that chemicals could splash behind the protection. Goggles also come in multiple types. You can choose vented, cushioned goggles for added comfort or welding goggles with filter lenses that protect against impacts and bright light.
In some cases, it’s not enough to just have protection over the eyes. Full face shields or helmets might be required. Many welders where a full helmet with a window that pulls down to cover the face and eyes, for example. These should also be supplemented with safety spectacles in many cases, depending on the coverage of the helmet and face shield.
Donning the right eye coverage is a critical safety step when you work where sparks, debris, chemicals and fumes are possible. Taking just a few seconds to put on safety glasses can mean the difference between vision and blindness in the future should an accident occur. Safety glasses don’t prevent all eye accidents in the workplace, though, so if you have suffered from such an injury and need assistance with workers’ compensation, consider talking to a legal professional.
Source: National Safety Council, “Protecting Your Eyes from Injury,” accessed Aug. 26, 2016