Every year in the UK, several thousand workers suffer eye injuries and, of these, around twenty percent result in some degree of blindness. Once vision is lost, it’s often incredibly difficult to restore. Workers and employers therefore have an ethical duty to try to prevent injuries. There are also strong financial incentives at work, since lost eyesight often leads to absenteeism, presenteeism, and a general loss of productivity.
Why wear them?
Safety glasses protect against a range of different hazards in the workplace. Mechanics and workshop technicians are frequently exposed to a range of hazards scenarios that could be dangerous when not wearing the correct safety equipment. When slicing through sheet metal, sparks and razor-sharp metal fragments can be dispersed into the air which, understandably, can be very dangerous. Other hazards include airborne grease, oil, dust and toxic chemicals. These might be sprayed up into your face, or they might drip down on you from overhead. If you’re a mechanic who spends a lot of time underneath vehicles, then the latter danger might strike you as more pressing.
Safety glasses are easy
The easiest way to protect your eyes is to put a protective barrier in front of them. This is the role played by safety glasses and other forms of eye protection. This kind of PPE is often found used on construction sites, in research laboratories, and in garages and mechanical workshops. Everywhere that hazardous materials might be sprayed into the air, eye protection is vital.
Types of safety glasses
Eye protection comes in several different varieties, from standard and prescription glasses to a full mask, of the kind used by welders. You might also find tinted safety glasses, which can be made to match the conditions in which you’re working. Whether you’re in high light conditions or low light conditions, it’s vital that you feel as comfortable as possible in your glasses – and that your vision isn’t compromised.
It’s worth drawing a distinction between protective glasses, which allow air to enter around the edges in the same way as ordinary glasses, and safety goggles, which form a protective seal around the eye area. If you’ve dealing with liquid and gaseous hazards, then goggles might seem the more sensible choice. They also tend to offer more complete protection against flying objects.
On the other hand, more lightweight protective glasses tend to be more comfortable, and they tend not to get in the way of work being done. As such, workers tend to prefer them. Naturally, eye protection that’s actually worn is going to offer a greater degree of protection than nothing at all so it is always worth ensuring that you are wearing them whilst working in your garage.