When working with power tools, protecting your eyes should not be an option – even at your workshop or garage.
Eye injuries are still one of the major workplace injuries. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 American workers and laborers suffer job-related eye injuries that require medical attention.
Always be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for safety.
Common causes of eye injuries at workplaces:
- Allergies – allergic reaction to substance and chemical exposure is usually called allergic conjunctivitis
- Flying debris
- Welding torches
- Punctures from pointed objects
- Not wearing eye protection properly
- Wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job
- Chemical burns
- Uncorrected vision
One of the safety necessities in your workshop is to protect your eyes from the likelihood of such common injuries.
How to prevent eye injuries in your workplace
- Set up an eyewash station that is right next to your first aid kit. Hopefully, you won’t have to use the eyewash station. But it’s better to have one installed in your workplace to treat your eyes immediately in case they get irritated by sawdust, shavings, chemical splashes, or welding/grinding sparks.
- Replace high-risk equipment and chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible.
- Install proper lighting to avoid straining your eyes while working.
- Wear protective eyewear such as goggles to protect your eyes from impact, burns, chemical splash, as well as welding and grinding torches.
- Wear full-faced helmets and shields.
- Have your eyes checked to your optometrist or ophthalmologist if your vision is deteriorating. They can diagnose and treat whatever condition has caused your blurring vision, and may prescribe you with special safety glasses.
Can contact lenses protect my eyes from injuries at work?
So far, there is no evidence that contact lenses provide sufficient protection to your eyes from the injuries earlier mentioned. However, there is no proof that contact lenses can further damage your eyes, either.
However, contact lenses may help increase your safety in the workplace in several ways:
- They can improve your vision;
- They provide a wider field of vision (compared to wearing graded eyeglasses);
- They have less visual distortion;
- They are less affected by wet weather and high humidity;
- They provide a better fit for your eyes;
- They are more convenient to wear compared to glasses. Most contact lenses in the market are disposable.
Here are some of the most recommended eye protection for your workplace:
The recommendation by Amazon alone makes NoCry safety glasses one of the most trusted safety glasses amongst DIY and professional builders. These no-scratch glasses offer a high level of eye protection and clear vision. In addition, they can block out 90%-100% UV radiation, making them safe for outdoor use. The side covers protect the areas around your eyes.
NoCry safety glasses are a lot more affordable than prescription safety glasses, yet they provide almost the same level of performance as prescription safety glasses do. The certifications from ANSI and OSHA make these safety glasses ideal for use even in high-risk environments.
Unlike many eye protections, Safeyear Anti-Fog Safety Goggles do not create that nasty fog that blocks your vision due to its unique anti-fog coating technology. They are scratch-resistant, UV-safe untinted googles that can protect both your eyes and eyewear while offering superb visibility.
The Dewalt Concealer is a pair of dual-mold safety goggles that offer complete protection from dust, debris, chemical splashes and impact. Dewalt uses its proprietary ToughCoat lens and XtraClear anti-fog technologies which provide protection against scratches and fogging. Despite the level of protection that these goggles offer, they still allow breathability into your eye area with its built-in ventilation channels which further keep the fog out of your sight.
The Galeton 9200580 Ranger Safety Goggles keeps your eyes free from dust, chemical splashes and debris without fogging up. These goggles may be close-fitting, but they are otherwise comfortable with its soft and flexible frame. The strap is not only adjustable, but it also swivels to the wearer’s head shape, while the glasses themselves are free of color tints for clearer and better visibility.
You may want to try Uvex Bionic Face Shield which offers built-in chin protection and extended coverage to the top of your head. You can wear it as it is, or over other protective eyewear and/or face mask. Its visor is made of transparent polycarbonate material that resists scratches and fogging. The cell foam at the back of the gear offers additional comfort. The great thing about this mask is that it can protect your entire face from wood shavings, chipped wood and even shards of glass, metal and ceramic, while still providing high visibility.