Eighty percent of what we perceive comes through our sense of sight making eyesight one of our most important senses. It is an integral part of how we learn, communicate, identify hazards and avoid danger.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that “workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation.”
According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Around 2,000 U.S. workers receive medical treat- ment each day due to eye injuries sustained on the job. Wearing the correct eye protection however, can prevent 90 percent of these injuries.”
Offering eye protection to your workers is an easy choice. But with so many options available it can be difficult to navigate which safety eyewear is the right choice for each employee and their job function.
ORR Safety offers a wide variety of fashionable and functional prescription and non-prescription safety eyewear, and we will craft a fully administered safety eyewear program that is specific to the existing hazards in your workplace enriching your company’s safety culture.
A safety eyewear program is an administrative system that transfers the manual task of managing a prescription eyewear program over to the software. Some of these tasks include budgeting on a company or individual employee level, tracking eligibility and employee buying history, invoicing and finding an eye care provider.
Everyone is busy and many of us juggle multiple responsibilities at work. Managing a prescription eyewear program in addition to your other tasks can be daunting. A digital tracking system can make your life much easier.
Software that keeps track of everything in your program is quickly becoming a must have. Going digital gives you the tools you need to quickly and efficiently manage your program, without the headache of dealing with stacks of paperwork.
Objects in the eye, cuts, scratches and chemical burns are among the most common eye injuries at work. The tissue in and around your eye is extremely delicate and working in close proximity to toxic chemicals or machinery that expels particles can result in damage to your vision or even blindness. Fortunately, with the proper protection most eye injuries are preventable.
There are many working conditions that present multiple eye hazards. The proper eye protection for your workers should take all hazards into account.
The most common eye hazards at home are similar in nature to the hazards at work but include different activities:
Eye safety is just one aspect of creating a safety culture within your organization. In addition to providing safety eyewear, employers can ensure a safe work environment by taking the following steps:
The type of safety eye protection worn by workers will depend on the hazards present in your workplace. Safety glasses that oﬀer side shield protection must be worn in work areas that have dust, metal or wood projectiles. A work environment that exposes workers to potential chemical splashes or fumes should be equipped with safety goggles. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields and welding helmets must be worn when working near hazardous radiation. Before selecting safety eyewear for your worksite, a hazard assessment should be made based on each work task.
Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses. Safety glasses are manufactured with prescription or non-prescription lenses. Non-prescription safety glasses, known as “plano” lenses, are made to be worn by individuals who do not wear glasses normally to correct their vision. Prescription safety glasses, however, are worn in place of an individual’s regular glasses, in order to protect them from potential hazards that may damage their eyes. Unlike normal dress eyewear, safety glasses are much more durable and are designed to meet speciﬁc standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In order to guarantee your eyewear is ANSI Z87.1 compliant, look for Z87+ stamped on the lens or frame.
Goggles. Safety goggles protect the worker from injury or infection by acting as a shield against particles and harmful chemicals. When worn correctly over contacts or prescription safety glasses, goggles create a barrier around the entire eye, providing the ultimate protection against potential hazards.
Face shields or welding helmets should only be worn over primary eye protection such as safety glasses or goggles
Choosing the right pair of safety glasses requires more than just ﬁnding the proper frame or ﬁt. There are several types of lens materials and treatments available and knowing which to include can be overwhelming. Understanding the diﬀerent lens options and what each means for your safety can make the process less stressful and ensure you have the proper eyewear for your application.
Polycarbonate was ﬁrst introduced in the 1970s for aerospace applications and is currently used for the helmet visors of astronauts and for space shuttle windshields. Today, polycarbonate lenses have become a popular choice for safety glasses. The material is light compared to other plastic or glass lenses and is high-impact resistant. For information on how to take care of your polycarbonate lenses check out our blog: Caring for your Polycarbonate Eyewear
Phoenix lenses are the latest advancement in safety lens material. Similar in functionality to polycarbonate lenses, Phoenix lenses are thin and and oﬀer high-impact resistance however, they are even more lightweight, allowing them to provide all-day comfort to the wearer. Composed of urethane-based monomer, Phoenix lenses provide superior optical quality compared to polycarbonate and plastic. They are trivex-based with a proprietary HOYA formulation. Phoenix lenses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection and are chemical resistant.
Blue light lenses help absorb harmful HEV blue rays. Whether you are working indoors or out, blue light is something that should be considered when selecting your lens type. For working outside tinted, polarized or anti-reﬂective lenses can help block blue light from the sun. Workers that are primarily inside can beneﬁt from yellow-tinted or photochromatic lenses.
Blue light is a color of light in the visible spectrum that has a higher concentration of energy and shorter wave lengths. Common sources of blue light include the sun, electronic devices such as computers, laptops, TVs, smart phones, tablets, as well as LED and ﬂuorescent lighting. Recent medical studies indicate that extended exposure to blue light can speed up the process of age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. It can also cause digital eye strain and disrupt natural sleeping patterns.
For more information on blue light check out our blog: The Dangers of Blue Light
ORR oﬀers its non-prescription BluBarrier™ that blocks blue light from both the sun and digital devices, while reducing glare and increasing contrast. BluBarrier™ lens technology blocks 41% of ISO 12312-1 blue light, is scratch resistant and allows 88% of visible light.
For prescription eyewear, ORR oﬀers the RECHARGE blue light ﬁltering lenses. HOYA’s RECHARGE coating and lens material combined reduces a portion of blue light in the High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) spectrum.
In years past, only people who worked in high-heat environments such as utilities and paper mills were subject to their safety eyewear fogging. In 2020, having to wear a face mask has made eyewear fogging a challenge for everyone.
Fogging can lead to impaired vision, increasing the potential for injury by an unforeseen hazard. When a worker’s eyewear fogs up as a result of temperature changes, they are likely to take them oﬀ repeatedly to clear the fog. This increases their exposure to other hazards and causes a loss in productivity. Anti-fog lenses and lens treatments are available for workers as well as straps and lanyards to prevent eyewear from slipping due to sweat.
For more information on anti-fog protection read our blog: How to Keep Safety Glasses from Fogging.
To combat fogging, ORR Safety oﬀers its new 3XP™ standard treatment and FOG FIGHTER™ anti-fog enhanced treatment for safety eyewear. The new 3XP™ anti-fog treatment works THREE times better than standard anti-fog coatings, lasts longer and is eco-friendly. Our enhanced FOG FIGHTER™ treatment works SIX times better than standard anti-fog treat- ments and meets the new ANSI Z87.1-2020 eye protection standard anti-fogging requirements. The benchmark for performance of anti-fog treatments, FOG FIGHTER™ treatment is good for the life of the lens – it won’t wash oﬀ or wear oﬀ.
The type of eyewear you choose for you worksite should be based on the type of work being performed and be compliant with the standards outlined in both OSHA and ANSI regulations.
29 CFR 1910.132 General requirements for PPE (eye protection): General Industry requirements for the use of personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers.
29 CFR 1910.133 Eye and Face Protection: General Industry requirements for the use of appropriate eye or face protection for employees exposed to eye or face hazards from ﬂying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
29 CFR 1910.252 (b)(2): General Industry eye protection requirements for employees involved in welding, cutting, and brazing.
29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(v): Safeguards for personnel protection, which requires that PPE for the eyes and face be worn whenever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or ﬂashes from ﬂying objects resulting from an electrical explosion.
29 CFR 1915.153 Eye and Face Protection: Outlines requirements applicable to the Shipyard industry for the use of appro- priate eye or face protection for employees exposed to eye or face hazards from ﬂying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
29 CFR 1918.101 Eye and Face Protection: Outlines requirements applicable to the Longshoring industry for the use of appropriate eye or face protection for employees exposed to eye or face hazards.
29 CFR 1926.102 Eye and Face Protection: Outlines requirements applicable to the Construction industry for the use of appropriate eye or face protection for employees exposed to eye or face hazards from physical, chemicals, or radiation sources.