Nearly 800,000 workers suffer from eye injuries each year. It’s the responsibility of hands-on-workers to make sure they keep their eye protection glasses up to standard, preventing high-risk injuries along the way. You can prevent the thousands blinded from eye-related workplace injuries if you know how to keep your eye protection good as new.
That’s exactly what you’re going to learn today, as we explore the many ways you can prevent your eye protection glasses from wearing away.
1. Buy The Right Eye Protection
Before you start scrubbing away at your eye shields you should consider if you’re wearing the right eye protection.
If you work in construction, you want safety glasses. This is a form of eye protection that is effective at shielding eyes from high-impact, projectiles, and vibrations.
Depending on the materials used to make your glasses, you should be able to research which methods are best at keeping them in check.
Splash goggles cover not only the eyes but areas of the face surrounding the eye, including the brow and cheekbones. These lenses are made of thick plastics and other corrosive-resistant materials.
Splash goggles are chemically resistant and defend your eyes against high impact like safety glasses.
Face shields offer UV resistance along with all the benefits of splash goggles and safety glasses. You wear face shields from the crown of the head down to the chin or neck.
Shields do a great job of resisting chemical splashes along with most forms of radiation. If your gear is ever exposed to the kind of radiation face shields can resist, consider researching OSHA’s guidelines for responding and dealing with the effects.
If you have experience in heavy construction, desert conditions, or excavation, dust goggles defend your eyes safely. Dust goggles tend to only cover your eyes and no other part of your face.
Dust goggles defend against dirt and dust particles that can stick to your gear for a long time. You can prevent this by researching proper ways to remove dust from the material specific to the dust goggles you wear.
2. Find Proper Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning solutions split into two categories: routine and method. Let’s elaborate:
If you want your eye protection to remain functional for more than a month, you should establish repeating techniques for cleaning your eyewear. For example, if you wear dust goggles, make an effort to wipe away any dust and wash them after every work-day. If you can, do this between shifts.
Treating your eyewear is a lot like maintaining your vehicle, be sure to clean, rinse, and dry your glasses or goggles regularly for the best results.
Methods involve the types of cleaning solution and the process you apply to your eyewear. Every kind of eye protection requires a different method of cleaning. Let’s run through the list above to ensure you know how to keep your eyeglasses in working condition.
- Safety glasses require that you blow away any dust or dirt particles from your lenses. Remove the largest particles out first. Then, rinse under luke-warm or hot water, and lastly, use a microfiber cloth to clean the lenses and the frames.
- Clean your face shields with warm soap and water. This will prevent the shield from holding onto chemicals and large particles. Shields should also be kept in dry storage environments.
- Splash Goggles require that you wash your hands before cleaning the actual lenses. Next, clean the goggles with hand soap, water, and some form of detergent. Finally, rinse them off completely, ensuring there are no remaining dirt particles or chemical residue.
3. Follow Regulation
You, along with your team, should value safety when equipping yourselves for work. If you know the proper safety regulations for the eyewear you possess, you can learn what to avoid to make your protection last longer.
For instance, OSHA requires that safety goggles or glasses be worn when a worker is subject to potentially dangerous gases, projectiles, and chemicals. In California, OSHA rules apply, yet there are some additional regulations:
- Contact lenses, unless specified otherwise, are not allowed in places with high heat or light exposure.
- Any instance of laser beams is met with laser protection goggles.
Important point: OSHA applies across the US, but there are often additional regulations that apply state by state. Be sure to learn of your states safety regulations.
An Additional Point
Your regulations should be straightforward, but one thing is not always apparent: you need to use your eye protection correctly if you want them to last.
Here’s an example, if you work near an incinerator you’ll need glasses that can withstand high heat. If you wear something besides a face shield when in contact with high heat, your eye protection will fail over time.
4. Do A Hazards Checklist
Before you start buying and maintaining a new pair of eye shields, try establishing the risks at your workplace and how to resolve them with proper protection.
Gases Can Be Elusive
If you work under conditions of high heat, grime, or oil you may forget about gas hazards entirely. Gases are not only dangerous to the lungs and organs but can permanently damage your eyes.
That said, make sure that you figure out what forms of hazardous gases exist in your workplace, and whether they pose harm to your eyes. Once you’ve done this, get gas goggles or another form of eye protection that resists harmful gases.
Ballistics and Explosives
These aren’t only used in the movies, it’s important that you establish any existence of explosive gases and combustible equipment in your workplace. Once you’ve done this, make sure that you find a pair of eye shields that are useful against high heats and projectiles.
Your hazard checklist should require you start with potential harms that could be done to your face down to your legs. Think about all the possible ways you could be at risk in your workplace environment, review them before every shift. Here are some other tips:
- Replace any damaged eye protection the moment it breaks.
- Study workplace protocols for eye protection safety.
- Alert your supervisor if your eye goggles or glasses have been damaged before your shift begins.
- Keep multiple pairs of eye protection, be sure to have a type of eye shield for every potential hazard in your workplace.
5. The Best Habits for Eye Protection Glasses
Along with following regulations, finding the right methods and routines for cleaning your eye protection, and buying the right equipment, you should keep a list of quick tips to make your day easier.
If you have any form of equipment that comes in contact with chemicals, you need to store them in a dry, clean environment. Splash goggles, for instance, require you to clean them with soap and water and then allow them to dry.
Once the drying has been completed, you need to store them in a non-humid location, as this prevents chemicals and loose particles from attaching themselves to your lenses.
This applies to face shields as well. Shield frames are sometimes held together with small screws, if you leave a face shield in a humid environment then those parts can rust and destroy your equipment.
Stick to Microfiber
Microfiber cloths are made to collect the small particles that eventually wear away at valuable eye protection. You should never use any abrasive material to clean your lenses unless that’s your last option.
Abrasive material can scratch your lenses, putting you at risk of running right past compliance signs or missing cues from your co-workers.
Clean Your Glasses Top to Bottom
Most people forget to clean the frames of their eye protection, leaving the structure of their safety equipment subject to damage.
To prevent this, be sure to clean your frames, the earpieces, and the duct-guards. This process will ensure your glasses are completely maintained.
You Can See Clearly Now
If you want to start saving the 2,000 people who suffer eye injuries a day, learn how to prevent your eye protection glasses from breaking down and spread the word.
You now know which glasses fit your field of work, how to maintain those glasses, and the additional steps you can take to keep your eyes safe.
You need to make sure your eye protection is on point, companies like Atlas Safety Solutions can make sure your work crew is getting the safety support it requires, check us out and start doing your own research today.