The importance of properly fitting safety glasses

November 6, 2020

When it comes to choosing the right pair of safety glasses for the job, it is important to choose a pair that fits your unique face shape properly to help keep you safe. With an estimated 200 workplace-related eye injuries occurring each day in Canada, it might come as a surprise that 90% of these injuries could have been avoided with properly fitted and worn protective eyewear.1 A statistic from the United States revealed a shocking truth: 40% of workplace eye injuries occurred to people who were wearing eye protection at the time.2

These startling statistics demonstrate that simply wearing safety glasses does not automatically mean a worker will be protected from sustaining an eye injury – it showcases the important need to wear properly fitting safety glasses. With all protective eyewear, understanding the importance of proper fit is key, especially when worn with other types of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Factors to consider when choosing safety glasses

Comfort and fit

When a pair of safety glasses fit properly, they tend to feel comfortable for the wearer. Research has shown us that the number one aspect of comfort is actually related to the fit of the eyewear in terms of pressure on the temple above and behind the ears.3 When a worker is wearing an uncomfortable pair of safety glasses, they are more likely to remove them, thus losing eye protection for the length of time that safety glasses are not on the face.

Lens tint

Choosing the proper lens tint for the job is also an important factor in choosing safety glasses. Wearing the right colour of tinted lenses can help your eyes feel less fatigued from strain that can be the result of different working conditions. It can also help reduce light sensitivities, eye strain and headaches for wearers. Polycarbonate lenses with UVA/UVB inhibitors can help protect eyes from UV light conditions that can damage them and increase a wearer’s risk of developing eye disease, including cataracts.

Environment

Finally, choosing the right eyewear is dependant on the environment at hand. Protective eyewear with anti-fog coating are ideal for cold environments while certain other rugged environments might necessitate an anti-scratch coating. Sealed eyewear should be worn in environments where there is the risk of flying particles (which is the primary cause of most eye injuries at 31%) while goggles are often selected in environments where there are fluids that could be splashed into the eyes. It’s extremely important to note that not only will properly fitting protective eyewear for the job protect the wearer from eye injuries, they can also help protect them from other injuries that can arise from having an obstructed view. For example, an obstructed view could result in the wearer mistakenly walking into something or experiencing a trip hazard.

One size doesn’t always fit all

Head widths can vary significantly, which means that what feels comfortable for one worker might not feel comfortable for another. In addition to this, eyewear that feels comfortable on a larger head might not even be secure on a smaller head. This is why it is so important to offer more than one style of eyewear that has the potential to fit comfortably on workers.

We designed the brand-new 3M™ Solus 2000 Series Protective Eyewear with fit in mind. Featuring adjustable ratchet temples, 3M™ Scotchgard™ Protector Anti-fog coating with anti-scratch coating, multiple lens colours, and an optional removeable foam gasket, allowing the worker to customize their safety eyewear. We’d love to send you a sample to see if it might be right for your work environment – simply fill out the form below to see if you qualify.

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References

[1] Vision Lost in Canada 2011 Report - The National Coalition for Vision Health

[2] Cdc.gov/niosh

[3] David A. Lombardia, Santosh K. Vermaa, b, Melanye J. Brennana, Melissa J. Perry. “Factors influencing worker use of personal protective eyewear.” Accident Analysis & Prevention volume 41, issue 4, July 2009, pages 755-762.

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