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Eye protection is critical for maintaining visibility at a job site. Our vast selection of eyewear includes safety glasses, safety goggles and full-on face shields depending on your safety needs. We carry several styles including those from Pyramex, MCR Safety, PIP, and Uvex, that meet safety standards but are also comfortable and stylish.
Whether you’re in a hot and humid environment, sweating a lot, wearing other PPE that affects your airflow, or some combination of the above, your safety glasses might get foggy. Foggy glasses can be annoying, and they also present a significant safety hazard. If you can’t see what you’re doing, you can’t work safely, especially if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery as part of your job. The best solution for anyone who regularly works in these conditions is to invest in anti-fog safety glasses. You can also apply anti-fog coating to existing safety glasses. Anti-fog coating comes in spray, wipes, and gel options and should be applied to both sides of the lenses.
You might also want to try making some design or size adjustments to allow your lenses to cool down. Glasses that are too tight will inhibit airflow and could cause fog. If your worksite hazards allow a style or design with more airflow around the sides, that might be the way to go. Pulling your glasses a little further away from your face could also help avoid trapping heat and moisture. You might also be able to make adjustments to your clothing or other PPE workwear. Wear just enough clothes to stay comfortable and to prevent sweating. You should also make adjustments to high-collared coats because they tend to trap moisture and force it up toward your eyes, causing your lenses to fog.
Most job-related eye injuries are completely preventable. While there are worksite protections that can be put in place before the addition of PPE, like administrative controls and barriers, safety glasses and protective eyewear are another way to protect yourself and do your part toward making the workplace safer for you and others. Depending on your industry, there are a lot of hazards that can result in everything from discomfort to permanent eye damage. Safety glasses protect the eyes from liquids and flying debris. Dark or tinted lenses can help reduce glare, light, and eye strain in outdoor or bright conditions. Other colored lenses can filter haze and blue light for more contrast and visibility in low-light environments. Some will filter hazardous infrared light, like that created by welding. Some glasses can have magnification built in for fine detail work like inspections or for easier reading. Some styles will even fit over existing eyewear so workers with prescription glasses won’t have to sacrifice visibility for safety.
Safety glasses won’t damage your vision, but in the wrong situations they can cause eye strain and fatigue and lead to headaches. Straining to focus your eyes overtaxes the muscles, which is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. Fortunately, this discomfort isn’t permanent. If you’ve experienced dry or watery eyes, sore eyes, trouble focusing, blurred vision, light sensitivity, or a headache (especially if it feels like it’s behind the eyes), your safety glasses might need a change.
Low-quality eyewear worn for hours on end will cause discomfort: cheaper safety glasses are likely to have reduced optical clarity, which can result in cloudy or distorted vision. If you’re wearing glasses that are the wrong size or the wrong tint for your job, your eyes can’t properly adjust to conditions and you’ll overexert your muscles. Scratched lenses affect the quality of vision through the lens, so replace scratched lenses and store your glasses properly in the first place (no chucking them onto your dashboard on the way to work!). Before you bring eyewear onto your job site, research your manufacturer and test out several pairs for comfort, fit, style, performance, and clarity before you commit.
Not necessarily. It depends on your industry, but you might want that protection anyway. Peripheral coverage like what you’d get in a closed-in goggle style of safety eyewear keeps the area around the side of your eyes safe. Most of the time, flying hazards will be coming from in front of you, but it’s possible that objects and debris can come from the sides. Luckily, there are enough safety eyewear designs that you can get peripheral coverage on more loosely fitting eyewear that doesn’t fog as easily, as long as your industry or work doesn’t require the complete protection of goggles.
You can, and you should. Your regular prescription eyewear helps you see better, but isn’t designed to protect you against the more serious hazards you might encounter in the workplace. You also shouldn’t wear contacts at work where eye hazards are present as contaminants like dust can get trapped behind the lens and cause irritation or damage to your eyes. At the same time, you can’t go without prescription lenses—being able to see on the job is an important part of staying safe! This is where prescription safety glasses come in.
Luckily, many brands and styles of safety glasses are available in non-prescription and prescription lenses, as well as non-prescription glasses that fit over existing glasses. There might be limits on which prescriptions are available in which styles, but it’s possible to get safety glasses that keep your eyes protected and ensure that you can see clearly on the job. Prescription safety glasses are typically made from polycarbonate. They can be customized with coatings and tints and single vision and multifocal lenses, which means that it’s very possible to meet your vision needs on the job.
For U.S. workers, look for an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rating that’s approved by OSHA Z87.1. This is the rating for all safety glasses, which means that your prescription safety eyewear is ANSI-rated and acceptable for your job. Also, keep in mind that as of 2008, OSHA requires employers to provide prescription eyewear where required. It might be worth looking into whether your employer will give you an allowance to purchase this eyewear on your own as well.