Eye protection is protective equipment for your eyes, designed primarily to reduce the likelihood of damage from light, debris or particles, as well as impact. Common examples of hazards requiring eye protection would include: light or harmful impact from any sort of ball or hockey ball used in sports, exposure to light at night, or heat. However, one item of eye protection that is frequently overlooked is the use of sunglasses, or sunglasses – or any sunglasses – can actually increase the risk of eye injury. This is because the UV rays from the sun are very damaging to the cornea.
There are a number of types of eye protection that protect the eyes from sun damage. The safety glasses (and laser safety glasses if required) are designed to protect the eye from direct sunlight and damage. Some manufacturers design products with advanced reflectors that help to minimize the brightness of sunlight. Other manufacturers design products specifically for driving and sports such as baseball. This type of eye protection needs to be worn when driving or participating in sport activities such as motorcycling. For people who participate in construction work or industrial activities, safety glasses are also needed.
When it comes to protection for the eyes while outdoors, there are two main categories – eye protection for the head and face, as well as safety glasses or laser safety glasses for the face. While it is generally recommended that people wear their safety glasses or goggles when outdoors to prevent damage to the eye, and/or injury to the head, face and neck, some people may choose to wear face protection while participating in outdoor hobbies or activities. These include rock climbing, camping, fishing and sailing. As with the safety glasses, these types of face protection should also be worn when driving or participating in other outdoor hazardous activity.
Some of the most common forms of eye, face and respiratory protection are fit-testing and full face protective equipment. Fit testing is a test to ensure that a new fit fits the eye and face. It can either be used during or after the fitting process to ensure that the fit stays in place and doesn’t shift on its own. A full face mask is often used during active volcanoes, while a breathing mask fits inside the mouth to provide support for breathing while removing debris or smoke. The size, shape and density of this type of respirator are very different than a fit-testing respirator.
While fit testing and full-face shields provide protection, these products do not offer any type of shield to the eyes or face. Therefore, they should only be used by people who are participating in hazardous tasks or activities. However, these types of respirators are still used by many safety officials and first responders because of their ease of use. These respirators are available in a wide range of styles and designs to meet the needs of law enforcement officials, fire fighters and EMS workers. While the types of agents who should wear these protective products may have changed over the years, the impact goggles remain one of the most popular and effective respiratory protection products on the market today.
Because the eye is the area where our eyes are exposed to the environment most of the time, it is important to make sure that it is protected at all times. First responders and tactical military personnel have always known that these products are an essential part of their daily life. The next time you encounter a dusty environment or you become a victim of an infectious material, it is imperative to ensure that your eyes and face are protected from the harmful effects of these materials. The right protective eyewear is key to ensuring that you remain happy and healthy for many years to come!