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How comfort can affect compliance

Workplace eye injuries affect Canadian workers of all ages and genders across almost every industry. In Canada, 200 workplace-related eye injuries occur each day and up to 90% of these eye injuries could have been prevented with the right type of eye protection.[i]

Why aren’t workers wearing the right type of eye protection when eye injury prevention is relatively simple? While there are a few different reasons for this, one of the top factors is comfort. In a focus group done by Accident Analysis & Prevention, every worker cited  comfort as a factor that determined their use of safety glasses.[ii]

The reality is that when workers are wearing eye protection that isn’t comfortable, they’re more likely to remove it, immediately raising their risk of eye injury.

Factors that affect comfort

A pair of safety glasses that feels comfortable on one person might not feel comfortable on another. That’s why there are many factors that come into play when choosing the right pair of protective safety glasses for an individual.

One of the main reasons for this is head size and face shape. The facial structure of men and women across different ethnicities can vary greatly and the size of cheekbones, nosebridges and ears can also affect the fit of eyewear. Another factor that should be considered is the compatibility with other types of required personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring that they all fit comfortably together. This is one of the reasons that eyewear can be among the hardest pieces of PPE to fit properly.

Risk of wearing uncomfortable safety glasses

Eye injuries that are related to eyewear discomfort can result when workers remove their eyewear. When workers remove protective eyewear because they feel uncomfortable, they’re instantly at risk of workplace hazards entering the eyes. We know that workers also remove their safety glasses when they can’t see properly because they are scratched or fogged. Safety glasses cannot protect the wearer if they aren’t being worn properly, or at all.

Solutions from 3M

Eyewear that fits properly and feels comfortable goes a long way in increasing worker compliance and reducing workplace eye injuries. 3M™ SecureFit 600 Series Eyewear glasses were created to specifically combat issues related to user discomfort. Each pair features the following:

  • Pressure-diffused temple that fits comfortably over ears
  • Accommodates most head shapes and sizes to increase comfort and take the guesswork out of choosing safety eyewear that fits
  • Less likely to slide down the wearer’s nose even if they are exposed to moisture or sweat
  • Optional foam gasket that that can be easily wiped clean
  • Scotchgard™ Anti-Fog Coating to help workers see clearly, longer*
  • Compatibility with other 3M personal protective equipment


*Please note that Scotchguard™ Anti-Fog Coating is only available on select models of SecureFit 600 safety glasses.


[i] Source: Vision Lost in Canada 2011 Report – The national Coalition for Vision Health

[ii] 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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