Choosing the right eye protection

Choosing the right eye protection


Each year in Canada, a significant number of workers suffer from severe eye injuries, forcing them to take leave from work. From dust or particles projected into the air, to irritants or corrosive agents, as well as UV rays, risks are an important reality in most environments.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry

The best way to prevent injuries is still to identify hazardous situations and eliminate certain risks at the source by maintaining clean work environments. In order to do this, do not hesitate to contact SPI Health and Safety to develop your own hygiene and safety program.

Avoid the worst by using the proper eye protection

Beyond different prevention measures, statistics show that most ocular lesions could be avoided if the worker wore the adequate protective equipment. Here is a quick guide to help you pick the safety eyewear for your work teams.

Safety glasses are available with or without a prescription, and are made of tempered glass or polycarbonate. They have better shock resistance than regular plastic lenses (CR-39). Lenses can be clear, tinted, photochromic or polarized, providing various levels of protection against UV rays. A note of caution: many coloured lenses offer no protection. Before you make your choice, be well informed!

General rule: visual protection equipment should always be:

  • Lightweight and perfectly adjusted to the contour of the face;
  • Well ventilated and not obstructing the worker’s field of vision;
  • Scratch resistant and capable of neutralizing dangerous radiations, if necessary;
  • Compliant with the CSA protective standards for safety glasses;
  • Particularly suited to the type of work accomplished.

Protective glasses for every occasion

For most carpentry work, standard safety glasses with sideshields or eyeshades, or even better, goggles with regular ventilation (direct venting), are recommended to protect the eyes from dust, sparks or particles from all directions.

Concerning tasks for which there are risks of sparks, molten metal and acid splatters, abrasive material projections or chemical burns, it is preferable to choose safety goggles with a covered vent (indirect venting), hermetically sealing off the eyes. Indirect ventilation channels let the air flow, but stop the entry of irritant products. For that kind of work, it is preferable to wear a faceshield to protect the face and throat from sprayed particles or hazardous liquids and mists.

For most welding works, it is necessary to wear a welding helmet protecting the eyes, face, ears and throat from radiations, sparks or molten metals. Please note that when wearing additional protection, such as a welding mask or faceshield, safety glasses must be on. Fragments or dust can slip under the mask if the visor is lifted.

Maintenance of safety glasses

To ensure they remain effective, safety glasses must be maintained properly. Remind your teams that the glasses must be cleaned each day, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and handled carefully to avoid scratching the lens. Damaged glasses do not provide good vision or the requested protection.

In conclusion, make sure to have eye protection available for your employees, just in case. A simple oversight could cost you a lot…

To equip your team with the proper eye protection, trust SPI Health and Safety.