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Are You Wearing the Right Safety Glasses? The Importance of Eye Protection

Industrial Eye Protection Malaysia

Eye protection is one of the vital elements in the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for the workplace. As professions like machinists, sheetmetal workers, welders, machine operators, carpenters, electricians, chemical handlers, or laser machine operators, they will need to make sure their eyes are fully protected from flying shrapnel, gases, or other hazardous materials when executing their works. It is important to get a decent pair of safety glasses to avoid permanent damage to eyesight. There is a wide variety of eye protection available in the market and can be categorized into full-face visors, foam line/sealed safety glasses, safety glasses, goggles.

1. Safety glasses

Safety Glasses Malaysia

Safety glasses with side shields are used to protect against the flying object coming from the front and sides of us. It is not effective in protecting our eyes from hazardous objects coming to us, but it is the minimum level of eye protection that we are advised to wear under an environment where has some buffers, dust, or particles that are unlikely to damage our eyes.

2. Laser safety glasses

Laser safety glasses Malaysia

Laser safety glasses are a special type of eyewear for protecting us against the intense light produced by lasers. The glasses will label the optical densities and wavelength for the protection that affords. For getting appropriate laser safety glasses, we must choose according to the equipment, operating conditions, and required optical density for the wavelength of the laser.

3. Safety Goggles

Safety Goggles Malaysia

Goggles are able to provide more reliable protection from impact, splashes, vapors, and dust which include plastic and metal projectiles. It is tight-fitting eye protection that creates a seal around the eye area to cover the eye completely. Goggles are very useful for keeping dangerous objects out of their covered area. There are two main types of goggles which are Vented and Non-Vented goggles. Vented goggles with direct vents have many small holes placed around the side and top of the goggles’ frame that allow the air to flow in and out. It can provide protection from physical impact and is suitable to be used in the workplace where there is a large amount of fine debris floating in the air. However, it is not suitable for those environments working with liquids, chemicals, or extremely fine particles. There is another type of vented goggles which is Indirect Vented Goggles. It can offer the same impact protection as the direct vent goggles but its vents are located at the angle of the goggles and there isn’t as much space for the air to flow in and out as direct vented goggles. The angled vents are adjustable which allows users to control the flow of air based on their needs. It is suitable to be used where the chemicals have the possibility to splash.

On the other hand, non-vented goggles can offer a high level of protection against fumes and vapors as it is designed without the hole for air to pass through. An anti-fog coating is required for the non-vented goggles to prevent them from steaming up while wearing.

4. Face Shield

Face shield is made of a sheet of plastic that cover from the eyebrows to chin and tie across our head. It can protect us from dust, splashes, or sprays of liquids. However, the face shield is considered a secondary protector as it may not good at providing us proper protection against high impact hazards. A combination of face shields with safety glasses or goggles only can provide the best protection over impact hazards.

Face Shield Malaysia

5. Welding Helmet

Welding helmets can protect both the eyes and face from intense radiant light, flying sparks, and metal spatter result from the welding, cutting, brazing, or soldering process. It is made of fiberglass or vulcanized fiber with a filtered lens. Different work environments and levels of hazards require different shade numbers to provide appropriate protection on our eyes. For instance, the cutting and welding process may require the lenses to have a shade number of up to 14 - the darkest for eye protection.

Welding Helmet Malaysia

Eyewear is available in a wide range of sizes, material types, styles, colors of lenses. Polycarbonate is the most common type of material for lenses due to its lightweight, high impact resistance to the flying objects, and stronger than plastic. Glass lenses is also available as it can offer a better chemical resistance that can be used in where the repetitive cleaning is needed. Trivex is also getting popular as the material of lenses because it is similar to polycarbonate with added advantages such as superior optical clarity, scratch resistance, and photochromic capabilities. Different colors of the lens are also being used for different purposes and applications. For instance, Vermilion lens is a pink-colored lens that can sharpen our visual acuity and it is ideal for inspection or detailed works. A blue-colored lens is normally used in an environment with excessive glare and sodium vapor lighting. The amber lens can block the blue part of the light spectrum and maximize the color contrast that allows us to see the objects clearly in a low-light working environment.

Tips for Choosing The Right Eyewear Protection

When choosing the types of eye protection, we need to consider few factors and take note of some important tips. For instance, we should always make sure the eyewear is durable and cleanable. It must be fit properly to our face and comfortable to wear for a long period of time. The eyewear must also provide unrestricted vision and allow us to move naturally.

In addition, the type of eyewear we choose must have the ability to protect against specific hazards in the workplace. For the environment where has a hazard from flying objects, we must wear eyewear that has side protection too, either a clip-on or slide-on side shield is acceptable. When engaging any works that involve light radiation such as lasers or sunlight, it is advisable to use equipment with filter lenses with the right shade number that appropriates for the work being conducted to protect our eyes. Those who have impaired vision and wear prescription lenses must wear the eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses or the type that incorporates the design of prescription lenses with the eyewear.

We must based on the working environment and project requirements to choose adequate protection for our eyes in order to avoid unexpected incidents that may damage the eyes. Other protections on our hands & body are also important when executing the works and we much choose them carefully to make sure meeting the safety standard and requirements.

Eye Protection Malaysia

Photo credit: hsseworld, canadianmetalworking, shutterstock, coopersafety, gesswein, k3lh

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