Tips For Selecting the Best Safety Goggles for Workers

| | Sumit Roy

Things to keep in mind before selecting safety goggles

Work-related eye injuries are a very common occurrence at several workplaces, leading to consequences which can range from minor injuries to severe vision impairment. However, 90% of such injuries can be prevented by ensuring the workers are provided and are wearing proper eye protection gears.  

“Grinding and welding are the two most common tasks resulting in an eye injury, according to a 2008 report from Safe Work Australia (SWA). In the case of grinding, 40 percent of cases presented at Victorian Emergency Departments recorded the presence of eye protective equipment”. 

That being said, all PPEs are made differently, designed to cater to eye protection needs of a particular company. Thus, the ‘one-size fits all’ philosophy doesn’t work when choosing eye protection gears for your workers. The decision of which eyewear to choose must not be made in haste. If the wrong product is chosen, your workers might be at a higher risk of suffering from eye damage compared to working without safety goggles. Thus, take your time, evaluate the different options you have based on your worker’s requirement, and then make the final decision.  

To help you, we’ve mentioned some of the essential factors a business owner should consider before buying safety goggles for their employees.  

1. Analyse the potential hazards at your workplace  

As discussed above, there are different kinds of safety glasses available in the market. Each of these products serve a different industry, protecting the wearer’s eyes from different kinds of hazards. Take a look at some of the hazards below: 

  • Mechanical Risks – Injuries caused by particles coming out from machines and tools hitting the cornea 
  • Radiation – Acute or chronic eye injuries caused by optical radiations generated during welding and other operations 
  • Temperature – Injuries caused by hot liquids, metal splashes, and intense heat radiation, etc.  
  • Chemical – Injuries caused by foreign materials such as dust, liquids, gas, chemical splashes, etc. 

While making a decision, it is crucial that you consider the hazards relevant to your workplace settings and then make the choice. Talk to your safety instructor or your supervisor to get a better understanding of the requirement.  

Mallcom’s range of  safety goggles includes Altair and Avior both of which comes with interchangeable lens ,adjustable templates and removable eyebrow protector.The detachable frame option and angle adjusting facility makes it more versatile for use. 

When you are looking for fit-for-purpose eye protection, look out for the CE mark and EN 166 markings. EN 166 certification will ensure that the eyewear has been tested in accordance with European standards and possesses the properties required for suitable protection. 

N.166:2002 standard is followed for eye protection for various dangers . This the minimum standard required certification regarding eyewear in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It is the core technical industrial safety norm in Europe for eye protection applying to all types of individual protection of the eye which protects from hazards likely to damage the eye, except for nuclear radiation, x-rays, laser emissions and infrared emitted by low temperature sources. 

Similarly All eye protective equipment must comply with the requirements set forth in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard “Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection,“ Z87.1-2010”. 

2. Understand the different types and lens materials used  

Once you’ve identified the business-specific eye-safety related hazards, get acquainted with the different types of safety goggles available in the market, their specifications, and the level of safety they can offer your workers, and the materials used in making the lenses. The lens of safety glasses or goggles are made from different materials such as Polycarbonate, Trivex, Acrylic, etc. Each material has its own pros and cons which you must consider to make the right decision.  

Material  Pros  Cons 
Polycarbonate   Impact & scratch resistant Lightweight Shields against UV rays  Poor optical clarity 
NXT Polyurethane (Trivex)   Provides excellent resistance against impact Optical clarity is of premium quality Ultra-lightweight  Comparatively expensive than other materials 
Acrylic   Budget-friendly  Comparatively lighter than optical glass Resistant to solvents  Lacks durability and optical clarity  
Optical Glass   Excellent scratch resistance Offers distortion-free vision  Heavier than other lenses  Highly expensive and poor impact resistance 

3. Understand your preferences 

Last but not least, understand the preferences of your workers when it comes to safety goggles. Factors such as the ones mentioned below influence the level of acceptance and comfort of the wearer. 

  • Lens Coating: The right lens coating helps maximize the acceptability and functionality of safety goggles. For instance, Anti-Fog Lens Coating is the best choice for workers who are likely to work in a humid environment. Similarly, hard coating makes the lenses more scratch resistant, and mirror coating amplifies protection against infrared radiation in hot environments.  
  • Lens Tints: Lens tints play a crucial role in maximizing the protection quotient when working with a high optical radiation risk. The commonly available lens tints are Grey, Amber, Vermilion, Blue, Copper Blue Black, Green Shade 3.0 and 5.0, and Polarized lenses. Each of these tint options are used for different reasons. For example, safety glasses with blue lenses are great for workers who are constantly working with sodium vapor lighting and excessive glare. 
  • Alternative for Prescription safety glasses: A lot of people wear prescription glasses due to poor eyesight. Chances are, a lot of your workers wear them too. Although it is not a problem, it is a challenge to find the right safety glasses for such workers. As an employer, you’ll have to make sure the safety glasses you choose are customized to offer optimum visibility and complete protection for such workers.   
  • Comfort & Design: Comfort is the topmost factor to consider when buying safety glasses. Because if the PPEs are not comfortable, your workers are likely to remove it frequently, increasing the chances of injuries. Opt for safety glasses that are designed ergonomically, are lightweight and offer a high level of comfort, even when worn for extended periods of time.  

As it’s always said, the right defense against potential eye hazards is the best way to keep workplace eye injuries at bay. Following  the above shared guidelines and selecting   the right safety goggles for your workers  will go a long way to ensure a ‘zero tolerance policy” for eye injuries’ in your workplace.     


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