How important is safety eyewear?

 

Our eyes are the most sensitive of our senses. Good eyesight depends on the delicate interaction of a complex optical system.

Since the eye is so easily damaged it's not surprising that many workplace accidents result in permanently impaired vision.

In 2015 12,000 New Zealanders filed a claim with ACC for an eye injury suffered at work.

Over 90% of these workplace eye injuries were due to four main causes:

  1. Being struck in the eye by flying particles and objects such as nuts, bolts, ball bearings, springs, and fragments from abrasive blasting and grinding.
  2. Striking the eye against an object, for instance by blundering into a protruding piece of equipment.
  3. Eye contact with:
  •    Splashes of molten metals, hot liquids, corrosive chemicals, irritant liquids, infectious agents.
  •    Fumes - corrosive, irritant.
  •    Dusts - organic, chemical, abrasive, corrosive.
  1. Exposure to radiation from welding flash, ultraviolet or infrared radiation, very hot substances, laser beams, laser reflection or fibre optics.

 

 

 

AssessING THE Workplace risks

 
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 requires employers to take all practicable steps to eliminate these hazards or to isolate the hazard from the employee. Where elimination or isolation is not possible, employers must take all possible steps to minimise the likelihood of harm. Where there is a potential danger to any employee’s eyes, personalised safety eyewear should be provided. In most cases this should be for medium impact protection. If you are an employer, you need an appropriate eye safety program to:

  • Identify and control hazards to prevent eye injuries before they happen.
  • Provide employees with appropriate eye protection. Select eyewear to protect against the specific hazards in your workplace—radiation, flying particles or objects, splashes, fumes or dust. Ensure safety glasses fit properly. Eye size, bridge size and temple length all vary. Safety glasses should be individually assigned and fitted.
  • Make provision for correct storage of safety eyewear in a pouch or case and replace scratched, pitted or ill-fitting eye protection immediately.
  • Instruct staff in safe working practices and ensure appropriate eye protection is worn when required
  • Train staff in use of their eye protection.

 

Is there a minimum standard for safety glasses in the ESKO range?

 

All our eyewear is tested and certified to meet AS/NZS1337: Personal Eye Protection, to at least Medium Impact Protection level. This Standard sets out the specific requirements for eyewear to protect the user from impact, UV and other hazards in the workplace. Look for these symbols which indicate the product has been passed by an approved testing agency:

 

What features should be looked for in quality safety glasses?

 

Check to see that the spectacles have Australia/New Zealand Standards approval. There will also be lens markings indicating suitability for specific applications:

 

 

More than impact protection

 

In New Zealand conditions, eye protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is particularly important. UV radiation can lead to eye complaints ranging from mild irritation to macular degeneration, cataracts and cancer. All safety glasses from ESKO prevent at least 99% of harmful UV rays from reaching the eye and the Magnum and Panther ranges block 100%.

 

HOW to Select the most appropriate safety eyewear

 
Safety eyewear used to look heavy and impractical, but all that has changed. The latest generation of safety eyewear is well designed, stylish and modern. So fortunately, there is now much less reluctance by employees to wear safety eyewear when it is required.

With proper safety eyewear most injuries are preventable.

But to be effective the eyewear must be appropriate for the hazard.

Use this guide to narrow down the best eyewear for your particular requirement:

(1) LENS COLOUR

CLEAR LENS SMOKE LENS AMBER LENS BRONZE LENS POLARISED LENS MIRROR COATING SHADE-5 LENS

 

Clear lenses protect against
general indoor/outdoor hazards and UV rays
Smoke lenses are good for sunlight and outdoors glare conditions.  Amber lenses enhance contrast—ideal for low-light environments. Bronze lenses work similarly to amber, giving enhanced contrast in low light, but they also cut down glare in brightly lit situations. Polarised lenses cut out horizontal reflections from water, snow or flat road surfaces, greatly reducing distracting glare. Mirror coatings give excellent filtering in strong sunlight and outdoors glare conditions. Shade-5 lenses are ideal for working in proximity to welding or in very brightly lit conditions.

 

(2) IMPACT RESISTANCE - Eyes exposed to impact danger from flying particles, sparks, shavings, shards?


Low Impact Rated
: Can withstand impact from an object moving at 12 metres per second.  

Medium Impact Rated: Can withstand impact from an object moving up to 45 metres per second.  

High Impact Rated: Can withstand impact from an object moving up to 120 metres per second.

Extra High Impact Rated: Can withstand impact from an object moving up to 190 metres per second.

 

(3) UV RATING - Exposed to UV light in outdoors glare or laboratory radiation? Choose UV-blocking lenses.

(4) FOAM SEAL - Working in dusty environments? Select glasses with a foam gasket that seals comfortably against the face---or, in high risk environments, goggles.

(5) GOGGLE STYLE - Do you need protection against hazardous splashes, flying particles, extremely dusty environments? For the highest level of protection choose goggles.

 

PRODUCT CODE

DESCRIPTION

LENS COLOUR

IMPACT RESISTANCE

UV RATING

FOAM SEAL

ANTI-FOG
LENS

ANTI-SCRATCH LENS

GOGGLE STYLE?

ELASTIC STRAP OPTION

 

CAN BE WORN OVER PRESCRIPTION GLASSES?

 

E8100

Combat EVA Foam
Seal Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

E8102

Combat EVA Foam
Seal Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

E8200

Combat X4 Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

E8202

Combat X4 Smoke with
Silver Mirror Lens

Smoke/Mirror

Medium

99.9%

 

 

E8203

Combat X4 Shade 5
Welding Lens

Shade 5

Medium

99.9%

 

 

1700

Magnum clear lens

Clear

Medium

100%

 

 

 

 

1702

Magnum Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

100%

 

 

 

 

1703

Magnum Amber Lens

Amber

Medium

100%

 

 

 

 

E6000

X2 Premium Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E6002

X2 Premium Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E6003

X2 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Mirror Lens

Mirror

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

8001

Velocity Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

8002

Velocity Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

8003

Velocity Amber Lens

Amber

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E1000

Econospec Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E1002

Econospec Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E1003

Econospec Amber Lens

Amber

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

GMAX

G-MAX Silicone Goggle

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

Standard

2000

ESKO 2000 Econogoggle

Clear

Medium

 

 

Standard

3000

Esko Vispec Overspec Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

3002

Esko Vispec Overspec
Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

E7020

Panther Green Flash Mirror

Mirror

Medium

100%

 

 

 

 

E7020P

Panther Polarised Smoke

Smoke/Polarised

Medium

100%

 

 

 

 

E4000

Xspex Clear Lens

Clear

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E4002

Xspex Smoke Lens

Smoke

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

E4004

Xspex Bronze Mirror Lens

Bronze

Medium

99.9%

 

 

 

 

 

More information

Click on the link for further information:

Worksafe's guide to eye injuries, treatment, prevention and choosing eye protection


Relevant standards:

  • AS/NZS 1336:2014 Eye and face protection guidelines
  • AS/NZS 1337.1:2010 Personal eye protection. Part 1: Eye and face protectors for occupational applications
  • AS/NZS 1338.1:2012 Filters for eye protectors. Part 1: Filters for protection against radiation generated in welding and allied operations
  • AS/NZS 1338.2:2012 Filters for eye protectors. Part 2: Filters for protection against ultraviolet radiation
  • AS/NZS 1338.3:2012 Filters for eye protectors. Part 3: Filters for protection against infra-red radiation

 

Need some help?    Got a question for us?
Esko Quick Contact