Your eyes are sensitive and they need protection, especially when working with equipment that can cause burns or create flying debris that may penetrate the eye. Using the appropriate eye protection for your activity could save your sight.
Know that there are several types of eye protection available. Some provide protection from dust and debris. Others protect your eyes from burning rays and molten metals. The following is a list of eye protection devices and what they are used for.
1. Safety glasses
- Regular eyeglasses and sunglasses provide protection from debris and rays that comes toward the front of your face only.
- If you wear eyeglasses, use impact resistant lenses.
- Safety glasses have heavier lenses and can withstand shock better than an ordinary eyeglass lens.
- Use safety glasses that have been treated for anti-fog.
- Make sure the glasses fit properly and are secure.
- Goggles protect your eyes against both a front and a side blow.
- Chemical splash or unvented goggles protect against chemical vapors and liquids.
- Always wear goggles when striking hardened metal and hardened metal surfaces to protect the eyes from flying metal debris.
- Use a face shield over safety glasses or goggles for even better protection.
- Goggles designed after ski-type goggles with high air flow reduce fogging and provide better debris and splash protection.
3. Face shields
- Face shields protect the face from liquid splashes, dust, and airborne refuse.
- Standard face shields offer very little protection against high impact. There are special types of shields available that provide impact resistance.
- To be extra cautious, you can wear your goggles or safety glasses under the face shield.
- Face shields should be worn if you are using a sprayer, chipper, grinder, or are near chemicals or blood-borne hazards.
4. Special protection for welders
- Always wear a welding helmet. This protects your eyes from the burning rays. It also protects your face and neck from the splatter of molten metal and slag.
- Ensure that the welding helmet has a colored lens with at least a No. 10 shade if welding with 200 amperes or less. Consult a welder’s safety instruction manual if you are in doubt of which helmet is best for the job.
- Protect your eyes after you have lifted your helmet.
- Wear eye protection when working in industrial situations or using power tools and when playing sports.
- Always wear proper eye protection when drilling, welding, sawing, spray painting, grinding, handling chemicals, or working in a dusty environment.
- Make it a habit to put on safety glasses or goggles when working with hand or power tools.
- Never look at an arc (from any distance) with the naked eye while someone else is welding.
- Make sure your prescription safety glasses have side shields.
- Polycarbonate or Trivex® lenses should be worn when working in high impact areas.
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