As temperatures drop around the country, effective safety eyewear is more important than ever. Here are a few tips for choosing the right eye protection for cold environments.
Anti-fog coatings are most effective when they are permanently bonded to the lens. These advanced coatings supply the longest lasting clear views. Having your eyes protected isn't much good if you can't see what you're doing, so anti-fog properties are especially important when cold air on the outside and warm air create the fog that obscures your vision. Goggles like the Pyramex Capstone Anti-Fog Goggles also have removable vent caps to allow greater ventilation in cold climates. This helps balance the air temperature levels and reduces fogging.
Another way to keep the fog down is to use safety eyewear with dual-pane lenses like the Pyramex V2G-XP Hot/Cold Resistant Goggles. This style of protective eyewear is especially well-suited for cold weather applications. The two lenses are separated by a layer of insulating air. This still air helps regulate the inner lens temperature. Goggles like the V2G-XP also provide excellent protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays. Just because it's cold doesn't mean the sun isn't making its feeble attempt at providing warmth while also flooding you with potentially harmful rays.
But goggles aren't the only way to go. MCR Safety produces the PRO Shock Safety Glasses which are sold by the dozen and provide dual-pane lens and superb anti-fog protection. Another great option are the single-pane Carhartt Carthage safety glasses. They have a permanently bonded anti-fog coating that is second to none, and they come with interchangeable temple arms and elastic strap. This allows you the choice of wearing them as glasses or goggles.
Ski goggles often provide great anti-fogging lenses, but don't use them for work as they are not designed as industrial eye protection. They don't provide adequate impact protection and aren't up to the ANSI Z87 standards. One thing those ski goggles do have going for them are the wide elastic bands. Look for safety glasses with a wide strap for winter work. Goggle bands not only help keep the goggles in place, but they also provide a little more warmth. While it may not be so great for summer work, wide elastic bands are preferred by many folks in the winter.
One final word about winter eye safety is concerning eyewash stations. Whether they are portable or permanant stations the eyewash solution needs to be between 60 and 100 degrees. It certainly can't be frozen solid, so this is something that needs to be considered and monitored during the cold weather months especially.
If you have questions about eye protection in general or anti-fog or winter eye protection specifically, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are available online or call us at 800-829-9580 between 6am and 5pm Monday through Friday (PST).