Eye protection – Why do I need to wear safety glasses?

Eyres 307 non prescription safety glasses.Most eye injuries are preventable.  Eye injuries can result in vision loss, which can be permanent. Approximately 20-30%* of all workplace injuries are eye injuries.


Common injuries include:

-Foreign bodies (metal, or organic commonly)

– Burns eg. Caustic substances, heat or welding, exposure to sun radiation

– Poisoning


Injuries can still occur when you’re wearing eye protectors if they are not appropriate for the task or if they are not fitted correctly.  Drilling, hammering and grinding are common tasks that result in injury.


Why do we need to wear eye protectors?


Eye Protectors need to be worn anywhere there may be a chance of eye injury, even when just walking through a hazardous area or working long hours exposed to the sun.  Common causes or eye injury include: flying objects, tools and particles, chemical splashes and exposure to harmful radiation.  Typical hazards and the appropriate eye protection can include:

–       Flying particles – side protection is required ie. Medium impact

–       Chemicals and splashes – goggles

–       Electrical equipment with potential high speed particles – face shields

–       Radiation eg. Welding and lasers – special purpose goggles, eye protectors and face shields (refer AS1338)


What type of eye protectors do you need to wear?


After conducting an eye hazard assessment and eliminating hazards where possible, appropriate eye protection must be chosen.

It is important to choose:

–       The right frame for fit, coverage and comfort

–       The right lens for protection eg. From UV or welding radiation

–       Use As1336 as a guide for the right eye protectors, depending on the hazard eg. Medium impact eye protectors, high impact face shields, splash or gas resistant goggles.


Ensure your eye protectors are independently certified to the relevant Australian standard.  Prescription Eye Protectors should carry the license number and standard number – 1337.6.  Plano or Non-Prescription Eye Protectors should carry the standard number – AS1337.1 and marking according to their type.


When do I need to wear eye protectors?


Grinding and welding are the two most common tasks that result in eye injuries, but a wide range of jobs in industries such as construction, mining, manufacturing, fishing, forestry and agriculture require eye protection.

*”Work related Eye Injuries in Australia”, Australian Safety and Compensation Council, July 2008


To check if you product is certified, go online to www.saiglobal.com.au for information about products that are certified.


The information in this article is intended as a guide only.  A full guide to recommended practices for eye protection can be found in AS 1336 Recommended Practices for Occupational Eye Protection.  A copy of this can be downloaded from www.standards.org.au


Passage taken from Eyres “How to save your eyes” Brochure 

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