Safety eyewear is an integral component of safety programs in workplaces across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans miss nearly 37,000 days of work because of eye injuries. As a result, employers spend $300 million annually in related costs, not including legal fees, productivity losses, and a variety of indirect expenses. Choosing the right safety eyewear and lens coating can improve safety, and increase functionality, employee comfort, and compliance.
Workers tend to keep their safety glasses on when they can see clearly, so choosing the right lens coating or lens color is an important decision. What’s the best lens coating for your workplace? Here’s a breakdown of different coatings and what they’re best used for.
Anti-Fog Lens Coating – When the lenses of your safety glasses fog, it temporarily interrupts your field of vision, leading to a potentially dangerous situation. In order to minimize fogging, manufacturers apply anti-fog coatings to improve the performance of your safety eyewear.
Scratch-Resistant Hardcoat – Scratch-resistant hardcoat provides longer life for the lens and extends visual clarity. Even with a protective hardcoat, safety glasses are still susceptible to damage from everyday wear and tear, and should be replaced if it becomes scratched or damaged.
Mirror Coating – Mirror coatings are most often used to provide greater protection and comfort your eyes when you’re exposed to infrared radiation in hot environments. Mirrored lenses are frequently used in conjunction with a tinted lens. They’re great for general-purpose sun and glare protection to outdoor work environments such as landscaping, construction, air transportation, and utilities.
Indoor/Outdoor Lens – Indoor/outdoor lenses are ideal for a variety of lighting conditions. They’re perfect if you work indoors and outdoors throughout the day.
Gray Lens – Gray lenses protect against sunlight in outdoor work environments.
Amber Lens – Amber lenses are perfect for low-light work applications where you need enhanced contrast. It blocks the blue part of the light spectrum and maximizes contrast
Vermilion Lens – Vermilion (pink) lens reduces all colors in the light spectrum while providing excellent in all colors. This lens is ideal for inspection and detail work.
Blue Lens – Safety glasses with blue lenses are great for use in work conditions with sodium vapor lighting and excessive glare.
Copper Blue Block – Copper blue block lenses block glare similar to gray or mirrored lenses, but it provides a brighter field of vision than other shaded lenses.
Green Shade 3.0 and 5.0 – These lenses are especially for use around welding, brazing, or cutting applications. They’re not for use when welding, however.
Spectrum Control Technology (SCT) – SCT lenses reduce radiation hazards such as ultraviolet (UV), infrared, or blue light. These lenses are great for use around welding sites.
Polarized Lens – Polarized lenses are used to eliminate glare. These are great for outdoor workers in bright, sunny conditions.
Choosing the right safety glasses for your job helps make you safer, minimizes eye injuries, and increases productivity. If you have questions about which lens coating or lens color is right for your job, please give our Technical Support Reps a call at 800-631-1246. They’ll give your information you need to make the right choice for you and your co-workers.
Over exposure to high heat and humidity can be dangerous. With the proper training and proper precautions to prevent heat-related illness, you can protect your health and the health of your co-workers.
Sources: Occupational Health & Safety, EHS Today