How do you know which safety glasses are right for you and your employees? It begins with the basic understanding that employees are more likely to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is comfortable and fits properly. These insights from 3M are part of a series that began with an article on factors to consider for respiratory gear.

Safety Glasses
Photo courtesy of 3M

Every day, approximately 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a work-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Those eye injuries occur for two main reasons: First, workers are either wearing the wrong eye protection for the job, or second, workers are not wearing eye protection at all.

Employees often don’t wear eye protection when they’re supposed to because it doesn’t fit properly and/or is uncomfortable. That’s why it’s important to take comfort seriously. A very basic pair of protective eyewear may still meet the regulatory requirements that you’re looking for in safety glasses but may not have the comfort features that will lead to your workers wearing them for long periods of time.

For instance, workers may dislike glasses if there is uncomfortable pressure from the temple bars or the nose bridge pinches. A small investment in eyewear with a rubber nosepiece and rubber on the temples may be all that’s needed to keep your workers engaged, productive and focused on the task at hand.

Also consider your application and environment when looking at safety glasses since that may determine which lens tints and coating may be needed.

For example, there is an “indoor/outdoor” lens tint that’s helpful for workers who may need to constantly move inside and outside for a job. The lens has a slight gray tint to it with a mirror coating. The combination helps reduce light and glare from the sun, while allowing you to still see clearly indoors.

For coatings, there are basically two types: scratch-resistant and anti-fog. If your employees work in a hot or humid environment, or just have trouble with fogging of safety glasses in general, you may want to look into an anti-fog coating,

For an optimal overall fit, select a pair of safety glasses for each employee that provides minimal gaps between the lens and the face to help ensure suitable protection.

Workers tend not to wear PPE that is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, and that can lead to injuries, OSHA violations, and fines for your business, not to mention loss of productivity. That’s why engaging your workforce in the eyewear selection process helps them choose eyewear that fits properly and is comfortable so they want to wear it longer.