According to Prevent Blindness America, almost 1 million people injure their eyes annually, whether at the workplace or at home. Through the use of accurately fitting safety glasses or goggles, you can take the necessary measures to prevent damage and keep your eyes secure. When you’re in need of safety glasses, get in touch with us at Lacombe Vision Centre.
Safety Glasses Vs. Regular Glasses
Safety glasses and goggles are expected to be more impact resistant than standard eyeglasses. There are two types of safety glasses, one with a prescription and the other without. No matter how tough the frame and lens, standard eyeglasses will not be considered safety glasses unless they meet the standards necessary to provide the proper protection.
The Government of Canada has guidelines for workplace safety to ensure that workers are protected from a wide range of concerns, including damage to the eyes.
Safety Glasses/Goggles Facts
To gain a thorough understanding of the safety features on these type of glasses, it is helpful to understand some of the details surrounding them, such as:
Prescription lenses are thicker, so generally, stronger against impact than non-prescription counterparts are
Thinner prescription safety lenses are now allowed, provided they meet the high impact testing requirements
All safety glasses must meet the standards for high impact testing
There are two impact standards: basic and high
Testing includes a “drop ball” assessment, where the strength of glasses is tested against the impact of a steel ball
High impact assessments include speed as a factor, where the glass must withstand an impact at 150 feet/second
Assess Safety Ratings
There are several ways to determine if you are wearing the proper safety gear, from understanding inscriptions to their physical properties.
Check for a plus sign marking to ensure the glasses passed the high-velocity assessment
“V” mark indicates a photochromic lens
“S” marking indicates special tinting to the lens
Shading assists with metalworking, such as welding and soldering
Tint densities range from 1.5-3.0 (mild to moderate for torch soldering) up to 10-14 (very dark shades for electric arc welding)
Safety markings are mandatory and can only be removed by the wearer
There are a variety of tests that can be used to determine whether a set of glasses or goggles are applicable to certain work situations, including:
Steel projectile test
High-velocity impact testing
Other durability tests
It is important to discuss with your employer the necessary safety glasses, and according to standards, for your workplace. Take this information to your optician to ensure that all necessary criteria are met appropriately.
Workplace and Home Use
Many jobs require the use of appropriate safety glasses or goggles. These include, but are not limited to:
Additionally, there are a number of tasks around the home and garage which benefit from the use of appropriate safety glasses or goggles, such as:
Dealing with chemicals
Particularly if you wear prescription glasses, it is important to consult with our optical care team to ensure that you are outfitted with the proper safety gear for your work life. This includes considerations such as side protection, high impact versus basic types, and prescription implications in terms of fit.
Sports & Recreation
Safety glasses are also highly appropriate for various outdoor activities such as hunting and sports. Typically, our optician will recommend elastic to affix the glasses properly, even during vigorous motion. If you enjoy paintball, it is helpful to note that certain safety glasses can protect your eyes from damage caused by paintball pellets. Whether you are trying to mitigate reflections during fishing expeditions or stay camouflaged during hunting, there are ideal safety glasses for your needs.
Typically, the industry-favoured material for safety glasses is polycarbonate, due to its lightweight nature, comfort, and natural impact resistance. The only drawback is the ease by which this material is scratched, as compared to standard glass. Nonetheless, the values relating to the safety and well-being of the eyes far outweigh the negative potential.
It is important to discuss this with our optician since the presence of an anti-reflection coat can reduce the impact resistance of the lens. Our optical team will be able to ensure that the lenses, with the coating applied, have undergone all of the necessary testings to qualify as a pair of safety glasses.
In order to gain the most benefit out of your safety gear, discuss your unique needs with our optician during your next eye exam. Keeping your eyes safe is a great way to prevent damage and optimize your vision over the long-term.