While safety glasses are essential to protect your eyes against dust and debris in the air and can, indeed, save your eyes from serious damage. There has been ongoing speculation as to whether safety glasses can have a negative affect on your vision. This concern essentially stems from the affects on looking through a plastic lens and whether this can have an impact on your sight long-term.
In essence though, wearing safety glasses all day is similar to looking through plastic sunglasses all day long, which is not often reported as having ill-effects on the eyes. The alternative of having too many UV rays in the eyes is essentially worse.
You should make sure you choose a pair of safety glasses that comply with quality standards and offer a good fit. That way, you are protecting yourself against any negative affects on the eye but are also adhering to safety precautions to protect your eyes in the workplace.
Good quality safety glasses will offer an adjustable fit and will cover the whole of the eye. They will also be labelled with a complying safety standard.
The safety standards to look out for when purchasing your eye protection are:
- EN 166: 2002
- EN 167: 2002
- EN 168: 2002
The optical tests in EN 167 ensure that the safety spectacles will not unacceptably distort the vision of the wearer.
How safety glasses are tested?
Safety glasses must offer a higher level of impact resistance than standard spectacles. This increased level of resistance must be true to both the lens and the spectacle frame.
The resistance of safety glasses is tested with a 650 ºC steel rod applied to various points of the spectacles to make sure the spectacles do not ignite.
In order to test the robustness of the spectacles, they must be able to withstand a force of 10kg applied with a 122mm steel ball. This is done at both high and low temperatures.
Safety spectacles are tested for corrosion resistance by being left in salt (sodium chloride) at boiling and room temperature. The spectacles are then dried off and 24 hours later, they are inspected for any changes/ corrosion.
Why should you wear goggles while working with chemicals and glassware?
There is no question that safety goggles or spectacles must be worn when working with chemicals and glassware. Safety goggles protect your eyes from hot objects, flying debris and harmful chemical substances that can affect your sight.
Do clear safety glasses have UV protection?
There is some UV protection in all glasses. Apparently, reading glasses with no protective properties can reduce the light reaching the eye by 10%, while lightly tinted reading glasses can reduce the light by 40%.
Some safety glasses are tested with light beams to test their UV protection.
What do safety glasses do?
Safety glasses at their most basic protect your eyes from flying debris and hot objects, as well as chemicals and more.
Safety glasses are often included in the health and safety procedures on site to protect employers where their sight could be potentially in danger or if there is any potential of eye damage.