Eye protection can be something we associate with school labs or professions that deal with potentially dangerous equipment or chemicals. However, 125,000 Americans injure their eyes at home each year, so it's important to know how to protect your eyes in several situations that occur not only at work, but around the house and at play as well.
Nearly 90% of all eye injuries might be preventable with protective eyewear and they're the #2 cause of visual impairment in the U.S. behind cataracts.
What Type of Eye Protection Do I Need?
- Eyeglasses. Everyday wear but they might not be adequate protection. If you need them, purchase goggles that fit over your frames or prescription safety glasses.
- Safety glasses. Protection for tasks such as sawing, hammering and drilling.
- Goggles. More coverage shields against dust, liquids optical radiation or high-heat hazards.
What Features Should I Shop For?
- A Z87+ rating on the frame. This rating indicates the frame meets standards set by the American National Standards Institute. The plus mark indicates approval for use in high-impact situations.
- Comfortable, adjustable frames that do not impair peripheral vision.
- Protective polycarbonate eyewear.
- Little to no gaps at the hinges. The bigger the gap, the more exposure to hazards.
When Do I Wear Safety Glasses?
- At work if your job primarily involves auto repair, carpentry, construction, driving, electrical work, healthcare, laboratory, janitorial, manufacturing, plumbing and welding. Nearly 2,000 Americans suffer workplace eye injuries that require medical treatment each day.
- At home, when making repairs and improvements around the house, working in the yard, cooking foods with grease or grilling over an open flame, cleaning with strong chemicals, making car repairs, performing home maintenance, or using bungee cords to secure heavy loads. 125,000 Americans injure their eyes at home each year.
- At play , keep sports fun and help avoid eye injuries. Try safety glasses with anti-reflective coating for outdoor activities such as hunting, shooting or fishing. Purchase goggles custom-made for athletics, and use an elastic band to help keep eyewear in place. More than 31,000 children and adults suffer eye injuries during sports every year.