Choosing the Right Safety Eyewear

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial for reducing the risk of worker injury. Wearing PPE isn’t enough. You need to ensure that workers are wearing the right PPE for the specific job application and environment. In previous posts, we have walked through choosing the right hard hat and hand protection. This month, we want to focus on choosing the right safety eyewear.

CM1P8250According to NIOSH, roughly 2,000 workers sustain eye injuries at work every day. About 1/3 of these injuries require medical attention at a hospital. The most common eye injuries are striking/scraping, penetration, and chemical/thermal burns. A small minority of workers contract eye diseases such as the avian flu or hepatitis B. 90% of workers could lessen or avoid injury by wearing eye protection according to ISHN.

Safety Eyewear Types

The reason we often use the term safety eyewear instead of just safety glasses is that eye protection comes in more forms than just the standard frameless lens. At Pyramex, we carry a full breadth of safety eyewear, all with its own benefits.

  • Full frame glasses feature lenses that are surrounded and held in place by a sturdy frame, making them perfect for a multitude of job applications or for leading an active lifestyle. They also tend to provide a closer fit than half frame or frameless options. We have an array of frame colors, patterns, and shapes to help you achieve the look that’s right for you.
  • Half frame glasses blend the breathability of a frameless design with the durability provided by a full frame. Many of our half frame options come with an adjustable nosepiece feature allowing them to function and fit much like regular glasses. They are ideal for any application where both durability and an unobstructed line of vision are equally important.
  • Frameless eyewear perfectly couples simplicity and style allowing them to work in applications and environments where a full field of vision is ideal, if not essential. Because they are lightweight and provide the wearer with an unobstructed view, they are excellent choices for those who are required to wear eye protection for long periods of time.

eyewear types

  • Goggles provide protection against a variety of different potential hazards, including things like chemical splash, flying particles, wind, sun glare, and dust. No matter what unique protection your application or environment requires, with features like thermo and anti-fog lenses, open and close ventilation systems, and removable face shields, we have goggles to meet your needs.
  • Over the spectacle eyewear is intended for those who require additional protection over their prescription glasses. They are designed with channels built in to accommodate another pair of temples, meaning you never have to remove your prescription glasses to comfortably achieve the protection you need.
  • Readers are designed to better assist those who require both safety glasses and prescription lenses. Our readers come in two forms, glasses and inserts, with anywhere from a 1.0+ to a 3.0+ magnification. Many options will also accommodate a personal prescription from an optometrist.
  • Sealed and foam padded eyewear are often ideal options for dusty or windy work environments. Many of our sealed and foam padded eyewear products also come with features like sealed rubber gaskets, interchangeable temples, and goggle straps, which make them easily customizable.

All these types of eye protection have their own pros and cons depending on the job to be done.

Eye Protection Features

1There are several features that cross over the various types of safety eyewear that have an impact on their function and practical use. Worker preference can also play a role in which eyewear features matter.

Probably the most important feature is safety standards. In the US and other countries, PPE is required to meet certain safety standards to be used in some applications and on certain job sites. In the US, that standard is called ANSI. ANSI reevaluates its standards every five years and Pyramex retests our products against the new standard at independent labs. Canada uses the CAN/CSA standard and the EU/UK uses the CE standard.

Outside of the ANSI Z87.1-2020 standard, there are also additional standards and ratings eyewear can achieve such as high impact and dust/splash protection. Learn more about ANSI standards in this post.

Lens Options

Lens color and treatments are probably the second most important feature to consider when choosing eye protection. Certain lens colors or treatments can make doing a job safer or easier. At Pyramex, we have over 30 different lens color options. Each lens color lets in a specific amount of visible light which protects against harmful UV rays. Lens colors can be used in a variety of settings and job applications. Check out the eyewear section of our catalog for more information on applications.

new light transmission

Color isn’t the only variation that can happen with lenses. They can also feature different treatments. The most common lens treatment is anti-fog. We offer H2X and H2MAX anti-fog coatings to provide protection against fogging lenses.

In order to serve workers in varying conditions, we also offer several of our safety glasses in polarized and photochromatic lenses. Polarized lenses help reduce glare, increase clarity, and enhance contrast which is crucial for safety in settings around water. Photochromatic lenses are especially useful for workers who frequently go from indoor to outdoor areas as they darken when exposed to UV light.

Polarized Lenses

Pyramex lenses are made from a hard-coated polycarbonate. This coating provides scratch resistance making the eyewear more durable. Anti-scratch technology leads to longer longevity for eyewear.

Comfort Features

One of the main reasons workers remove their eyewear is comfort. We take this issue very seriously and have worked to design eyewear that can fit comfortably on all workers. Common features include adjustable nosepieces, co-injected temples, rubber tips and nosepieces, ratcheting temples, and foam padding. We also have eyewear that is vented to help prevent fogging.

Questions to Ask When Choosing Safety Eyewear

Choosing proper eye protection is not a science as much as it is an art. There are many variables, and some of them come down to user preference. No matter what job a worker is doing, asking these questions can help you choose the right safety eyewear.

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  1. Is eyewear required to meet certain standards?
  2. Does eyewear need to protect against dust or splash?
  3. How much UV protection is needed?
  4. Is a specific lens color warranted or advised against?
  5. Is fogging a potential issue?
  6. How long will the eyewear be worn?
  7. Would magnification be useful?
  8. Does the worker already wear glasses?
  9. Will these be used for welding or around flash?
  10. What eyewear does the worker prefer?

Pyramex has over 100 different styles of eyewear, including our retail line. Each style has its own combination of frame and lens color options – the possibilities are practically endless! Our sales team is happy to talk through all the potential possibilities to help you make the right decision for your workers.

 

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