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Safety Glasses for Outdoor Workers

There have been many studies recently that have investigated the dangers that outdoor workers face when they are on the job and what Safety Glasses for Outdoor Workers should be provided.

The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks found that they are 3 times more likely to develop debilitating eye conditions as a result of working outdoors than their indoor colleagues.  This finding has been specifically related to working under UV light.

We all know that radiation is bad.  Yet many of us are not aware of the issues caused by UV radiation such as eyesight conditions and various health issues (not to mention the big one – skin cancer!)  It is common that many outdoor workers are not provided with sunglasses with safety features to help alleviate this effect.  However, did you know that many outdoor factors can affect how much exposure you receive from UV light?

It is a challenge for most Health and Safety officers to find a balance between their employees’ safety and the ability to maintain visibility of their workspace.  However, in recent times there has been a shift towards using polarized lenses to help reduce the UV exposure of the workforce.

In this blog post we will look at the specific elements that contribute towards worker eye health, Safety Glasses for Outdoor Workers and the newly developed technology that is helping to keep them safe while they are outdoors.

Other Factors That Might Affect Eyesight Outdoors

This can be quite a challenge and workers across the world are working in different terrains with differing light and pollutants than others, but we will look at the top issues affecting outdoor workers.

Amongst these UV radiation is well out in front and has been linked to cataracts and macular generation with around 3.3 million people losing their eyesight in some capacity every year.

The other factors that a Health and Safety officer would need to consider would include:

Chemicals and Harmful substances:  These are one of the most common outdoor accidents with around 40,000 ocular burns occurring every year due to misuse of chemical substances.

Flying Debris: This injury can occur almost anywhere and is not just restricted to the workplace.  Because of this flying debris and blunt trauma accounts for 96% of all workplace related injuries.  These types of injuries can be reduced by providing employees with safety glasses.

Safety Glasses for Outdoor Workers

Snow Reflection: If you have ever been skiing you will be aware of the level of glare that is reflected off the snow.  Metal, glass, and water in its liquid form can also reflect UV and increase the intensity of the rays.  If your workers are working in cold conditions or on water, you might want to take this into account with polarized safety glasses.

Atmospheric Conditions:  One that many people would not think of but the amount of gas in the air can affect the strength of the UV radiation that passes through it. 

Abrasion Injuries: Even the smallest piece of dust can feel like a boulder if it gets into your eye and rubbing your eyes when this happen can have problematic effects on the eyes.  Workers tend to rub the debris further into the eye causing tears, permanent damage, or infections.  Again, a good pair of safety glasses with a dust dam would prevent this from happening.

Working at High Altitude:  These locations are well above sea level and therefore exposed to higher levels of UV radiation.

So as you can see, although UV radiation is amongst the most common injury related issue that workers might experience there are a myriad of conditions that need to be accounted for.  Take in the fact that 20% of all workplace injuries result in loss of vision and suddenly providing a budget for safety glasses doesn’t seem so bad.  If you are looking at eyewear you should be looking at Bolle Safety Glasses which provide additional protection, anti-fog, high temperature and superb safety ratings to help keep your employees’ eyes safe.

Which Industries Does This Affect?

Vision is something that should be considered whether you are working indoors or outdoors in a harsh environment.

Office workers will require a different provision and may want to consider blue light blockers and dust dams if required.  However, the focus of this article is outdoor workers and the hazards they face.

Your Health and Safety office should have completed a Risk Assessment for each employee based on their job role and experience and provided safety gear which helps to mitigate the risks involved.

Some of the industries that will have considered this include:

Manufacturers including metal workers: these workers are exposed to UV light from both outdoor and man-made substances and so should be provided with appropriate safety glasses to combat both of these conditions.

Electrical work and construction:  The very nature of this work has employees outdoors and working in small spaces where accidents are common.  The most frequent issue is glare which can provide addition strain on the eyes.

Safety Glasses for Outdoor Workers

Offshore work: As well as being outdoors and exposed to UV radiation these workers are also a long way from home, often many hours from medical help so all safety precautions should be taken before work begins.

Drivers including truckers and pilots: As mentioned earlier altitude can have an affect on the amount of radiation a person is exposed to and pilots are amongst the highest altitude workers in the world.  Drivers especially truckers and bus drivers are exposed to glare from multiple surface over long distances and should be provided with polarized sunglasses to help combat this effect.

Most accidents at work can be reduced simply by wearing the correct safety gear, this might include PPE clothing but should certainly include safety glasses.

If you have any questions about our polarized sunglasses or polarized safety glasses do not hesitate to email us at


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