Despite the increasing popularity of using safety glasses in hobbies, workplaces and various sporting activities, there’s still a vocal minority who question the use of eye safety equipment. This may lead to the belief, among some, that using safety glasses may not be so important – that in fact it may be damaging to your eyesight. However, this isn’t true.
There are plenty of potential risks and situations where eyesight can be put at risk by simply neglecting to wear safety glasses or safety goggles. Their importance in certain environments cannot be understated, but there are plenty of other factors to consider. So, why is wearing safety glasses so important?
There are some workplace environments in which the use of safety glasses is paramount – and thus made an obligation for anyone working there. Safety glasses in these types of environments are likely going to be an included obligation among other personal protective equipment (PPE) and to not wear the appropriate PPE is to violate the health and safety regulations of your workplace.
Hazards such as high or low velocity projectiles, sparks or sudden fires, and even accumulated dust in the air could be damaging to your eyes. These are the most common hazards associated with eye safety, typically prevalent in such work environments as construction or carpentry.
In laboratory environments, the threats tend to differ, but are no less prominent and thus also demand the use of safety goggles. These risks typically include splashes from potentially harmful or irritant chemicals, radiations from strong light sources/lasers, and once again, unexpected projectiles that could cause serious eye damage.
Without safety eyewear, particularly in such threatening work environments, there’d be a much bigger and unnecessary risk to your vision, as well as the overall integrity of your eyes. Fortunately, safety specs are mandatory in work environments with such risks, and you can even acquire prescription safety glasses if you need them.
Eye injuries are typically among the greatest risks you’ll face in the workplace, and the wrong type of eye injury could lead to vision loss. There aren’t many other effective means of protection for your eyes aside from safety specs, hence their importance.
A factor that may lead some to believe that safety eyewear isn’t important, however, is that of the myth involving safety glasses causing damage to one’s vision.
Dashing the Myths
Whilst it’s true that wearing a set of tight safety glasses that don’t fit your face well, or that pinch your nose too hard can cause such conditions as headaches or eye strain, it’s by no means proven that they can cause damage to your vision of any kind.
The myth that safety glasses can damage your eyesight was primarily propelled by the discomfort some may have felt whilst wearing inappropriately sized safety specs. Wearing safety glasses is important in many risk-ridden environments, but what’s just as important is wearing a pair that’s well suited to your face.
If a set of safety glasses is too loose, there’s the risk of having them fall off your face at an awkward or even dangerous moment, therefore putting your eyes at risk once again. Having them be otherwise too tight, or not fitted properly can also introduce the risk of the safety lenses fogging up.
Not being able to see in hazardous environments is just as bad as not having your eyes covered, so emphasising the need to have your safety glasses fitted correctly.
Wearing poorly-fitted safety glasses poses no risks to the integrity of your vision – however it does pose the risk of causing discomfort, which may lead to headaches. Wearing the wrong prescription, if you use prescription safety specs, can also lead to eye strain. Eye strain isn’t permanently damaging to the vision either, but you’ll want to avoid it at all costs.
Safety glasses may be important but using them correctly is no less important.
Just because it isn’t a PPE requirement in a workplace doesn’t mean that the safe and proper use of safety glasses should be neglected. When involved with such hobbies as carpentry, or in such sports as skiing, cycling or shooting, it’s important to maintain a similar discipline of eye safety through safety glasses, as the risks posed in the workplace aren’t all too different to those in a personal environment.
Safety glasses offer a unique sort of protection that few other pieces of PPE equipment can offer, or even compare to. Not wearing them in hazardous or precarious environments is a risky game, especially if it’s perpetuated by false beliefs that revolve around myths. It’s important that everyone, whether they be at a workplace where their eyes are in danger of suffering damage or engaged in a hobby where unexpected risks are posed to the eyes, is familiar with all the threats involved in their position. And therefore knowing, of course, why it’s important to wear safety glasses.