PFM 21 1 - Page 24



NEWS
health & safety
Remove at Your Own Risk:
The Importance of Safety Eyewear
Most people who need to wear safety eyewear are aware of the main dangers their glasses protect them
from. However, Khurram Akhtar, Director – Sales & Products at Supertouch, identifies some of the less
obvious risks it’s worth knowing about.
I
t is well-known that safety
eyewear helps to prevent dust
and debris entering the eye,
which can cause distraction,
irritation and at worst, permanently
damage the sensitive outer layer of
the cornea. Foreign objects, such
as splinters or shards of glass, pose
an increased risk for those working
within a number of different
applications, from electricians and
plumbers, through to construction
site workers.
Safety eyewear is considered an
essential item of PPE in laboratories
and should always be worn in
environments where hazardous or
contaminated liquids are a problem.
However, chemical splashes can also
be common in areas outside of the lab
too. For example, when a domestic
plumber is called to a blocked pipe,
more often than not they will find that
the homeowner has already tried to
remedy the blockage by flooding the
pipe with bleach and other caustic
agents. Should the plumber then
unknowingly open the pipe without
adequate eye protection, there is a risk
of splashback, which could have
24
painful and damaging consequences.
Scenarios like these pose a real, but
perhaps unexpected, threat – reinforcing
that it pays to be cautious and prepared
when it comes to your PPE.
For some industries, such as food and
beverage, safety eyewear work the other
way round too. Here, wearing safety
eyewear is not only necessary to stop
food particles or liquids entering the eye,
but it also prevents bacteria and bodily
fluids from the eyes contaminating the
production line. Safety eyewear should
therefore be kept on at all times, in order
to protect both the eyes and the products.
In addition, safety eyewear acts as a
defence against harmful UVA and UVB
rays, which has been linked as a contributing factor to cataracts disease.
However, as technology advances,
people are now being exposed to even
more new dangers in their everyday
jobs – such as lasers and Infra-Red
radiation. It is important to therefore
always ensure your safety eyewear features lenses designed with these risks
in mind.
For example, Shade 3 and Shade 5
Green lenses from the Pyramex range
feature an Infra-Red (IR) filter, and are
commonly used in gas welding applications. These allow very small levels of
visible light through the lens, while
blocking almost all UV, IR and Blue
Light, giving the welder complete protection from the process. In addition,
despite not being an obvious scenario in
which safety eyewear would be helpful,
those who spend lots of time driving for
their job would also benefit from wearing amber lenses. Inclement weather
often creates dangerous driving conditions, with low levels of light, but amber
lenses help to enhance contrast and
make everything visually more distinct.
It is clear to see that safety goggles and
glasses provide protection against
much more than meets the eye. In order
to stay safe, ensure you know the
threats in your working environment and
are adequately protected against them.
For more information about the
Pyramex range of protective eyewear
or, to discover more about a widerange of PPE and workwear available
at Supertouch please call 0345 130
9922 or visit: www.supertouch.com
Reader Reply: 211038

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