Protective Work Eyewear

Eye injuries are one of the most common types of workplace injury. Millions of people sustain eye injuries each year in the workplace; some permanently losing part or all of their vision. These injuries take a serious financial toll on employees and employers, leading to lost production time and increased medical expenses.

According to statistics from the Labor Department, nearly three out of every five workers injured on the job were not wearing eye protection. With proper protective eyewear and training, most workplace eye injuries can be prevented.

What is protective work eyewear?

Protective work eyewear refers to eyewear that is designed to prevent eye injuries on the job. There are several different types of protective eyewear available to workers; in most cases, employers select the most appropriate eyewear for the hazards faced on the job.

Here are just a few of the different types of protective eyewear available to employees: 

  • Safety goggles 
  • Safety glasses with side shields
  • Full face shields 
  • Ventilated goggles 
  • Welding helmets

Workers with refractive error may have the option of wearing corrective lenses beneath their protective eyewear or having eyewear custom made with corrective lenses.

Why is protective eyewear needed at work?

Some jobs are inherently dangerous, and virtually every industry poses some potential eye hazard. Workplace eye injuries are common in industrial operations and factory manufacturing lines. Mechanics, carpenters, and plumbers sustain a large percentage of eye injuries. The most common causes of workplace eye injuries are: 

  • Flying objects 
  • Exposure to chemicals 
  • Dangerous tools 
  • Particles in the air

Protective eyewear protects against everything from flying sparks to wood shards, chemical splashes, dust, molten metal, and intense heat.

Benefits of protective work eyewear

Workers who wear protective eyewear have a much lower risk of sustaining a serious eye injury in the workplace. Protective eyewear can also greatly reduce the severity of eye injuries sustained on the job. Protective eyewear is good for employee safety and protects an employer’s bottom line.

Problems associated with protective eyewear

Protective eyewear can reduce eye injuries on the job, but not if employees are wearing the wrong kind of eye protection or if they receive improper training on how and when the eyewear should be used. One of the challenges facing the manufacturing and construction industries is to provide better training and education about eye safety and protective eyewear.


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