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Protective Eye Wear

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Protective eye wear such as safety goggles and shatterproof eyeglasses are necessary protection from many workplace hazards. In recent years, the number of occupations requiring eye protection has increased; meaning that for many applications, new regulations that require some form of protective eye wear may be in effect. Occupations such as fleet inspection have not required protective eye wear in the past, but are currently deemed hazardous enough to require safety glasses.

With an estimated 1000 workplace eye injuries every day, at an annual cost of 300 million U.S. dollars, it comes as no surprise that the number of safety regulations are increasing. OSHA estimates that by using the appropriate protective eye wear, 600 of those daily accidents could feasibly be prevented. Knowing what eye gear is appropriate, however, can be difficult, and may require the opinion of a trained Occupational Health and Safety Technologist.

By closely examining the workplace environment, OHSTs can assess the potential hazards that workers are exposed to every day. Technicians commonly assess the amount of dust or other particles in the air as well as the levels of dangerous chemicals and solvents and possibility of contact with bloodborne pathogens. By carefully observing the workplace environment, OHSTs can present educated recommendations for protective eye wear usage.

Common Forms of Protective Eye Wear

In general, rigid-bodied safety goggles offer the best protection from potentially harmful physical matter such as chips, dust, and other particles. For applications involving intense glare and other harmful rays, full-cup welding or shipping goggles may offer more protection. Safety goggles used in tandem with face shields are excellent for applications that involve exposure to chemicals.


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