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The Importance of Eye Protection

Helping businesses to ensure safety in the workplace is our top priority and eye protection is a crucial factor. It’s very easy for a worker to sustain an eye injury, so we’ve put together the key information that you need to know when it comes to choosing eye protection such as safety goggles, face shields and other equipment for protecting vision.  

What are the common types of eye injury at work?

Depending on the industry you work in, there are many forms of eye injury that can occur in the workplace. Below are the most common, which demonstrates why suitable eye protection is so important.
·       Flying debris: Pieces of metal, plastic, glass and other solids that are caused to fly through the air pose a significant health and safety risk.
·       Flash burns: Welding exposes the eyes to flash burns from the welding arc and the intense UV light can seriously damage the surface of the eye.
·       Particles: All manner of particles and foreign bodies can arise in an industrial setting, ranging from dust and woodchip to metal shavings and larger fragments that are smaller than debris but still extremely hazardous.
·       Chemical splashes: If the eye comes into contact with chemicals a worker can suffer from burns, sight damage and even blindness.
·       Sudden eye trauma: This is caused by a direct blow to the eye area, which can damage bone structure as well as the physical eye itself and its sight capabilities.


Types of eye protection

There are multiple options to choose from when it comes to eye protection and each one works differently from the others. Here are the key types and how they work:
·       Safety glasses with unvented side shields: A basic form of eye protection that works well for simple jobs. Protects the eyes at the front but not the sides, which means that chemical splashes can still cause injury.
·       Safety glasses with vented side shields: These offer more protection at the sides of the eye, such as blocking flying debris, although the vents can still allow chemical splashes and particles to enter the eye area.
·       Basic safety goggles: Goggles that cover the eyes but don’t seal completely against the face, which like the above forms of eye protection can still allow chemical splashes to enter the eyes.
·       Directly vented cover goggles: Offering much better eye protection, goggles that seal against the skin of the face are a very popular choice for many workers. However, if the employee is working with chemicals, the vents can still allow liquids to enter the eye area.
·       Indirectly vented cover goggles: The best of the best when it comes to goggles and the right choice for anyone working with chemicals and particles, as the goggles completely cover the eye area and leave no room for anything to slip through.
·       Visors and face shields: This form of eye protection offers even greater levels of worker safety, as a plastic shield covers the entire face. The result is comprehensive protection of the eyes and skin from chemicals, molten metal splashes and hot solid projections.
·       Full face respirator: Covering the entire face, this exceptional form of protection can include particulate filters and air-purifying modes.


When should you wear safety goggles instead of glasses?

Whilst safety glasses offer a certain level of eye protection, there are many instances when safety goggles should be used instead. These include any task or environment where hazardous splashes, airborne dust and particles, flying debris and similar hazards are possible. By choosing safety goggles that effectively cover the eye area, you can ensure that your workers, managers and visitors remain protected against eye injury.


Order your eye protection equipment today

We’re here to help you choose the right kind of safety glasses, safety goggles, face shields and full face respirators to protect your staff against accident and injury. To find out more, give our team of safety specialists a call on 01 8499 100 or email sales@safetycare.ie.

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