“Eye protection is expensive, but not more than your eyes” is a phrase that we find everywhere – from chemical labs to welding stations. Wearing gloves or masks to protect oneself from the heat or sparks while welding isn’t sufficient; one must wear protective eyewear to save the eyes from bright light. Handling explosive chemicals holds a lot of unpredictability, and without proper eye protection, one is a considerable risk. What could go wrong? Starting with eye strain that may cause migraines to develop allergies, a lot can go wrong. The fatal case being permanent damage to the eye and losing eyesight. 

Studies suggest 90% of eye injuries are prevented by using proper eye protection. How does one determine when to use protective eyewear and the right one they must be using?

If one’s work area involves chemicals, whether or not they are hazardous and readily flammable, eye protection must be worn. If one works in dusty environments, there’s a high chance that their eye is constantly irritated because of the dust. Eye protection is a must. If one is exposed to UV or the bright light at work, they are at risk of developing retinal diseases. If one’s job involves welding, cutting, drilling, fireworks, spraying, etc., they must get the proper eyewear to protect their eyes from harm. 

How to figure out the correct eyewear? Quite simple. Companies like Eye Protect provide a range of protective eyewear and allow one to consult experienced optometrists before choosing. They are categorised into three major groups – Safety Glasses, Safety Goggles, and Prescription Safety Glasses. 

Safety Glasses:

Safety glasses are hardened and laminated for eye protection. Unlike regular glasses, they do not easily break when pressure is applied to them; for example, if a piece of splintered metal hits one’s face while welding, the glasses will shield their eyes. Be sure that the safety glasses will protect one’s eyes and will not break. These safety glasses are further branched out into six categories. 

  1. Clear safety glasses: They are generally used for indoor activities. They can be used in all work environments. These glasses are recommended to be worn while welding.
  2. Safety Sunglasses: They are generally used when there is UV or bright light. It is recommended to be worn when working outdoors or with flames. 
  3.  Polarised Safety Glasses: These glasses are designed to eliminate visual noise and reduce glare. Preferred when working outdoors in bright sunlight. 
  4. Photochromic Safety Glasses: These glasses are suitable when switching between clear indoors and bright outdoors. It has variable tint lenses that can quickly adapt to both environments to provide clear vision. 
  5. Positive Seal Foam Insert Safety Glasses: It is recommended to be used when working in a dusty environment. It makes use of a foam insert that traps harmful dust particles preventing them from entering the eye. 
  6. Indoor/Outdoor Tinted Safety Glasses: These glasses have high transmittance, making them suitable for low-light environments. 

Safety Goggles:

The main difference between safety glasses and goggles is that goggles are held to the wearer’s face using an elongated rubber belt. Another critical difference is that safety goggles have ventilation. It eases the airflow through the goggles. 

Prescription Safety Glasses:

These are branched out into three types: 

  1. Safety Magnifying Glasses: These are used when one requires magnification to complete the task. 
  2. Prescription Safety Glasses: These are used when one requires optical correction and eye protection to complete the task. 
  3. Prescription Safety Goggles: Very similar to prescription safety glasses, they provide the same function but are structurally different. They are generally chosen when higher risks are associated with the tasks. 

This article should be a comprehensive guide to buying the proper eye protection. Remember always to protect your eyes when working in the conditions mentioned above. 


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