The Safeguards of Safety Glasses
Your eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, and with all of the possible hazards that exist in the manufacturing industry, it’s very important to take the necessary measures to protect them. Eye injuries can be life-changing events. Losing your sight, or even having it limited or lessened, can drastically lower your quality of life and even make you unable to work. With all of that in mind, you should take safety glasses training and proper use extremely seriously.
Personal Protective Equipment
Safety glasses are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are designed to protect your eyes from a variety of potential hazards. Regular glasses do not offer the same level of protection and should not be considered a suitable substitute at any time due to their lack of:
- Side shields/side protection
- Impact-resistant lenses, often made of polycarbonate
- Impact-resistant frames
Employees who require corrective vision equipment can be accommodated in one of the following ways:
- Use of prescription safety glasses that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and also properly correct vision
- Use of safety glasses that can fit comfortably over regular glasses without disturbing alignment
- Use of safety glasses that can incorporate corrective lenses mounted behind the outer, protective lenses
In order to be considered safety glasses, the equipment in question must comply with ANSI. You can tell if your glasses are up to code by checking for a “Z87” marking.
Caring for Your Glasses
Safety glasses are effective equipment, but they are also valuable and, as such, must be maintained carefully. It is important for employees to take good care of safety glasses and other PPE in order to make sure that they remain functional and adequate for providing protection. Follow these tips to keep your glasses in good condition:
- Clean your safety glasses daily using water or, preferably, lens cleaner.
- When cleaning or wiping your glasses, do not use a rough material that could scratch the glass.
- Avoid using cleaning products that are not specifically intended for lenses, as they could damage the equipment.
- Inspect your glasses every day to detect any flaws or damage.
- When not being used, store safety glasses in a safe place where they will not get dirty or damaged.
When to Wear Safety Glasses
Compliance with safety standards demands that employees wear eye and face protection if any of the following hazards exist in the work environment:
- Flying objects
- Molten metal
- Liquid chemicals
- Acids or caustic liquids
- Chemical gases or vapors
- Potentially harmful light radiation
There may be other workplace factors that make safety glasses necessary as well.
In addition, some tasks may demand even more PPE for example, grinding may require a face shield as an added layer of protection.
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