Dr. Jim Martin 05/07/2014

IMG_0805.jpgThere are several companies and jobs in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle requiring proper safety eyewear.  According to the CDC, approximately 2,000 eye injuries occuron the job in the United States every day. That is over 750,000 eye injuries every year. One third of those required a visit to the emergency department at the hospital.

The main causes for the work-related injuries are small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye. These injuries often come from flying slivers of metal, wood particles, dust, and cement chunks. Another major cause of eye injuries in the workplace is chemical burns. This happens when cleaning products or industrial chemicals splash into the eyes. Another issue which can cause eye injuries are thermal burns, caused by welder's flash.

Wearing regular eyeglasses is not enough. The lenses are made from materials that cannot withstand high impacts. They do not have side shields to protect the eyes from flying particles. 

What type of eyewear will protect my eyes on the job?

In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the safety glasses employees are supposed to wear in particular work environments. The standard they use is the ANSI Z87.1-2010. This standard lays out the standards manufacturers must meet.

Most industrial safety lenses are made from polycarbonate. The formulation of the polycarbonate differs based on the manufacturer and the lens purpose. 

For example, impact is a significant cause of eye injury in the workplace. To prevent or reduce those injuries, many industrial lenses are formulated to withstand impact.

Safety glasses can come with special tinting to protect the eyes. The ratings on the glasses tell you the tinting in place and the level of protection provided. Here is a list of some of the tint ratings:

"V" indicated photochromic lenses, which change tint based on lighting conditions
"W" indicates lenses specially designed for welding. The "W" is followed by a number that indicates the shade number.
"U" indicates a lens that provides UV filtering, followed by a scale number indicating the level of protection.
"L" indicates a visible light filter.
"R" indicates an infrared filter.

Frames are as important as lenses when it comes to safety glasses. Safety frames are designed to be sturdier than dress frames.

Do I need prescription or non-prescription safety glasses?

People who need corrective lenses can get prescription industrial safety lenses or choose to wear safety glasses that fit over their regular prescription glasses. Most employers require employees to get prescription lenses and frames if they spend most of their time in situations where the protection is warranted.

Industrial safety goggles are quite common in workplaces where the chances of eye injuries are quite high or where chemicals are common. These goggles fit tightly to the face to provide the maximum amount of protection to the eyes.

Many companies require employees to wear industrial safety glasses while performing certain duties. In the Amarillo area, some of these employers include Xcel Energy, Pantex, Amarillo Gear, Bell Helicopter, Suddenlink and AT&T

Local employees who work for auto repair shops, cable companies, phone and internet installers all have a need for safety glasses.

Who provides safety glasses in Amarillo?

If you need industrial safety glasses of any sort, contact Amarillo’s eye care center, Broome Optical. Our opticians can fit you with the right type of frame and lens for your workplace, whether you need prescription or non-prescription safety eyewear. We can take orders immediately so you can get properly fitted eyewear as soon as possible. Contact our Amarillo eye care professionals today and let them help you with your safety eyewear needs so you can be protected at your job. Because Life is Worth Seeing!

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