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Guide to Eye Protection

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone as the saying goes, and it couldn’t be much more true than if we were to lose our ability to see the world. Just think about your everyday life and the things you wouldn’t be able to do as easily if you were to lose your vision.

The importance of protecting our eyes while at work is therefore clear.

As part of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (2002), safety eyewear must be tested to BS EN 166: 2001, for resistance to mechanical and optical hazards in the workplace.

To help you select the right eye protection, factor the following elements into your decision:

  • Mechanical risks: Is there the potential for particles to hit you in the face while at work? Safety glasses are suitable for low energy impact, while visors and goggles will provide a greater level of protection.
  • Thermal risks: Do you need protection against metal splashes or intense heat? If so an elite pair of specs featuring anti-fog lenses will be more appropriate.
  • Chemical risks: These include dusts, liquids, gases and vapours and acetate visors will provide more protection than any other form of eye protection. These can usually be helmet mounted for convenient use.
  • Optical radiation: UV, IR, lasers or welding arcs can cause irreparable damage to vision. There are four types of shaded glasses that will protect the eyes.

Regardless of which type of eye wear you choose, remember that it should be close fitting, featuring anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses for maximum protection while working. For prolonged use, select lightweight, wraparound eyewear for the ultimate comfort.

All safety tested glasses will feature both lens and frame ratings, based on stringent testing according to the risks detailed above. The following tables provide a guide to help you make a more informed and safe choice for your eyewear protection.