Choosing & Using Eye Protection
Safety Glasses & Goggles
No matter where we work, flying particles, dusts, fumes, vapors or harmful rays are apt to expose us to potential eye injury. Fortunately, we can protect against these hazards by using the appropriate protective eyewear for our jobs and by following our companies' established safety guidelines. The following is a guide to the most common types of protective eyewear and the specific hazards they can guard against.
Standard safety glasses look very much like normal glasses, but are designed to protect you against flying particles. Safety glasses have lenses that are impact resistant and frames that are far stronger than regular eyeglasses. Safety glasses must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). (Safety glasses are also available in prescription form for those persons who need corrective lenses.) Standard safety glasses can be equipped with side shields, cups, or tinted lenses to offer additional protection.
Like standard safety glasses, goggles are impact resistant and are available in tinted lenses. Goggles provide a secure shield around the entire eye area to protect against hazards coming from many directions. Safety goggles may have regular or indirect ventilation. (Goggles with indirect ventilation may be required if you are exposed to splash hazards.)
Shields and Helmets
Face shields and helmets are not in themselves protective eyewear. But, they are frequently used in conjunction with eye protectors. Full-face shields are often used when you are exposed to chemicals or heat or glare hazards. Helmets are used when welding or working with molten materials.
Using Protective Eyewear
You can guard against eye injury by making sure that you are wearing the appropriate protective eyewear for the particular eye hazards you face. It's important to remember that regular glasses alone do not offer protection from eye hazards. Follow your company's established safety procedures, and never hesitate to ask your supervisor if you have any questions about what you can do to protect your sight for life.