Eye safety is paramount for physical jobs such as working on a construction site or welding. Over 90% of cases of eye injuries reported could have been prevented with protective glasses. Over 2,000 people suffer each with an eye injury. If your workplace has decided that protective goggles or safety glasses are necessary, how do you maintain and store your PPE?
It is important that you know the latest PPE regulations. The following regulations apply to eye protection:
EN 166: Requires eye protection in industries with potential eye hazards or anything that is likely to impair or damage vision. There are exemptions for nuclear radiation, x-rays, laser beams and low temperature infrared.
- EN 170: Ultraviolet filters
- EN 171: Infrared filters
- EN 172: Sunglare filters for industrial use
- EN 175: Eye and face protection during welding
Manufacturers often have instruction for each specific pair of safety glasses. This includes how to maintain them but a general rule is to clean them daily. You can blow loose dirt and debris from the lenses, rinse them under running water using detergent or use lens cleaning wipes or sprays. Make sure you store them in a clean dry place after washing.
Avoid rough handling because scratches will impair the vision and weaken the lenses. Safety glasses have quite a long shelf life when compared to other PPE equipment. Proper maintenance will make sure you get the maximum shelf life.
You can mend you safety goggles providing you replace damaged parts only with the original manufacturer parts to ensure the same safety rating. Scratched or broken lenses cannot be mended, you must be replace them.
You need to store safety spectacles in a case or a clean and dry place to avoid scratching, falling or being stepped on. Some workplaces have special drawers to store glasses safely in neat rows. You need to avoid storing your safety glasses in large piles because scratches will impair you vision and safety.
As stated, safety glasses have one of the longest lives of any PPE equipment. However, despite their condition you should replace them every 3 years. If you maintain them, your glasses can last up to that 3 year period without incident.
Make sure you replace protective glasses that are damaged, scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting. Ill-fitting safety glasses do not protect the wearer.
To ensure your safety glasses must fit, the eye and bridge size, and temple length vary so your safety glasses need to be individually fitted. Temples should fit comfortable over your ears and the frame should be as close to the face as possible with adequate support on the bridge of the nose. Find the best fit and protection for every worker who requires eye protection.
You need to choose your safety specs based on the colour of the lens - depending on the industry and comfort.
- Clear lenses provide standard protection
- Amber lenses removes blue light for low-light environments
- Grey and Brown lenses protect you from sun glare, UV rays and impact for outdoor use.
Your safety glasses should fit close to the face to minimise gaps. Find a style comfortable to wear.
It is important you chose the correct eyewear for you. It needs to be individually fitted because people find certain safety glasses more comfortable than others. The type of protect safety glasses you chose depends on the industry you work in. Make sure you maintain and store your safety eyewear correctly to maximise their shelf life.