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What's the Best Eye Protection for Employees?

Eyes are easily damaged, and not just from blows to the head. A trace of chemical or a speck of metal is all that's required for a serious eye injury and a visit from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors.

Because of this danger, OSHA requires eye and face protection for workers whose eyes could be harmed by chemicals, dangerous liquids, molten metals, damaging light radiation or other hazards. Fortunately, safety glasses are one of the easiest protections you can provide for your employees.

However, not all safety glasses provide the same level of protection, according to an article in Occupational Health & Safety magazine. In recent years, eye protection manufacturers have developed glasses with advanced safety features, including better anti-fogging properties. Anti-fogging properties and scratch-resistant lenses are generally among the biggest factors people consider when choosing protective eyewear.

Fogged-up safety glasses can create additional issues. New anti-fog coatings can provide clearer views and eliminate fogging entirely in some cases. This is particularly important for employees who work in extreme temperatures. Others who could benefit from new anti-fog coatings include workers who wear respirators or dust masks and those who work in medical warehouses and labs.

According to National Safety Council figures, work-related eye injuries in the private industry occur most often in the manufacturing industry, with 5,170 injuries, or 25 percent of the total injuries in 2011.

Other common industries for eye injuries include:

  • Construction, with 2,660 injuries, or 13 percent
  • Retail trade, with 2,470 injuries, or 12 percent
  • Education and health services, with 2,390 injuries, or 12 percent
  • Transportation and warehousing, with 1,710 injuries, or 8 percent

Our law firm advises employers in Texas about OSHA compliance. For more information, see our page on voluntary training guidelines.

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