People who often wear safety glasses or goggles do so to avoid work-related eye injuries. This specially designed eyewear protects the eyes from various forms of hazards that include flying debris, chemicals, extreme heat, and UV rays that can cause temporary or permanent loss of vision.
And with the coronavirus still an ongoing health threat, more and more people are starting to wear safety glasses, including those whose jobs are not considered high-risk.
Leading the pack are medical and healthcare providers and other frontline workers who continuously come into contact with large numbers of people that may or may not be sick.
This is because many experts say that wearing goggles can help reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus. Since the eyes are potential entry points for the virus, putting on safety glasses can prevent tiny particles from entering your body and causing havoc.
Whether you are buying your first safety glasses online for your work or additional protection whenever you go out, choosing the best one you can get for your money is crucial. You want to be sure your investment is worth it.
Moreover, you need to be certain that your eyewear safeguards your eyes from both tangible and intangible health threats and hazards.
If you plan to use your goggles in places where you will be exposed to chemicals and mechanical risks such as metal shavings or airborne dust, the best eyewear to get should be made of polycarbonate, which is the strongest lens material possible.
Make sure the lenses are scratch-resistant and absorb ultraviolet light for additional protection, as well.
If you will use safety glasses in hot and humid areas, you will do well to get lenses with anti-fog coating. With this feature, you will avoid the discomfort of wearing eyewear that is constantly fogging up and blurry.
And once you have your new safety glasses, you can prolong their quality and functionality and get the most from your investment by taking care of them properly.
Here are some tips to consider:
1. Clean your safety glasses correctly
Cleaning your eyewear regularly is crucial in maintaining their good condition. Moreover, cleaning ensures their hygienic condition, which is crucial if they are going to protect your eyes.
Cleaning your safety glasses every day is a habit you need to develop. It can be as simple as rinsing your eyewear under cool water to remove debris and drying it with the cleaning cloth it came with. You can also use soft microfiber cloth or eyewear-approved tissue to wipe the lens.
To give your glasses a thorough cleaning, use a lens cleaner solution. This product can remove residue that water alone can’t. Another option is using an optical spray, which you can buy at optical shops or clinics.
When wiping your eyewear dry, make sure you use only the provided cleaning cloth, soft microfiber cloth or lens-safe tissue.
Don’t forget to clean the sides and earpieces, as well. These tend to accumulate dirt and grime, which can get into the lenses, particularly if they are not removed immediately. If you want to wear a completely tidy pair of safety glasses, make it a habit to wash and wipe these parts, too.
2. Always use the right cleaning materials
There will be instances when you need to clean your eyewear immediately but do not have access to the recommended materials. Even in such situations, it is still best to follow proper cleaning practices.
This means not using hand sanitizers or alcohol-based cleaners to clean your glasses. These items contain chemicals that can damage the lenses’ protective coating.
When the protective coating is damaged, the lenses will be scratched or leave a film that will make wearing your eyewear inconvenient and uncomfortable and even useless.
Additionally, avoid using your shirt and any soft cloth that you find around since these materials usually have coarse fibers that can also scratch the lenses. Moreover, the fabrics might contain dust, dirt, and leftover laundry detergent making them unsuitable for cleaning your safety glasses.
3. Keep your safety glasses in a protective case
When you are not using your goggles, always keep them in their case. Doing so ensures you avoid losing, dropping, or sitting on them accidentally.
Make it a habit to always store your eyepiece in its hard case. Another option is to keep it in a soft, microfiber drawstring pouch.
However, if you use a drawstring bag, you have to be more careful with handling it. This means you have to avoid tossing it in your car backseat or putting it in your backpack or purse. Additionally, you shouldn’t put it where you might accidentally sit or step on it.
The microfiber pouch can protect the lenses from scratches but since it is soft, your glasses can break easily if they hit a hard surface or get stepped on.
4. Buy a retention strap or neck cord
If you need to remove your glasses frequently throughout the day while working, you should get an eyewear retainer or neck cord which you can use to hang your goggles.
Putting your safety glasses on top of your head, a workbench, or anywhere in the work area, canteen, or lounge can cause you to lose or accidentally break them. The strap or cord allows you to keep your eyewear available and ready for use without the risk of misplacing or damaging it.
There are also drawstring microfiber pouches that come with straps or cords that fit around your neck. With this item, you will have a handy accessory you can use to keep your safety glasses near you and protect them at the same time.
As bonus care tips, inspect your glasses for any broken pieces or cracks regularly. Even the smallest chip can cause your eyewear to fail and not give you complete protection.
If you observe any signs of damage, replace it immediately since the lenses can impair your vision, strain your eyes, and pose other safety hazards.
Last, if the lenses of your eyepiece are not coated with anti-fog, use an anti-fog solution. It will keep your glasses clear of fog, which will help you do your job safely and efficiently, whether you are working with cars or in the construction or manufacturing industry.
By following these tips, you can protect your eyes and your investment properly. You will also prolong the use of this essential eyewear.
Firas Saab is the Training Manager at Al Jaber Optical in Dubai, the leading optical and eyewear company in the UAE that offers a comprehensive range of eyewear and optical services across the board, through a wide range of modern optical products and facilities. Firas is an enthusiastic trainer with more than a decade in the retail and optical industry and has recently acquired HND in Business and Management in addition to his Optical qualifications.