Trends in ... eye and face protection
Updates and improvements
What’s new in eye and face protection? What do workers and safety pros need to know? To find out, Safety+Health talked with Brittany Cohen, product marketing manager at Magid; Claudio Dente, president and co-founder of Dentec Safety Specialists Inc.; and Zach Richman, director of product marketing, PPE, at Milwaukee Tool.
Any recent innovations in the eye and face protection area?
Cohen: The biggest innovations in eye and face protection aren’t necessarily innovations in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, they’re updates and improvements that focus on comfort and style. For comfort, newer safety glasses provide cushioning at pressure points such as the ears, forehead and nose. Ratcheting temples and other new temple designs relieve pressure to help workers find their ideal fit and prevent eyewear from gripping too hard and interfering with concentration or causing headaches.
Richman: Safety on the jobsite is improved by attaching PPE directly to a helmet or a hard hat. Securing helps create less of a hazard. Integrating eye and face protection into head protection allows the user to interchange between PPE easier, which can increase productivity overall.
Dente: Even though most industries have implemented eye and face protection programs for their employees, what we’re seeing is that injuries are still occurring because dust, dirt and debris are getting behind the eyewear and causing injury. Upgrading to foam-lined eyewear can greatly reduce these types of injuries because the foam provides a better seal around the eye and mitigates risk.
What concerns or questions are customers coming to you with about eye and face protection? What advice do you provide?
Cohen: Safety managers are also looking for eyewear that looks trendy and cool. New designs and colors give workers almost unlimited choices to find something that both keeps them safe and reflects their personality. That kind of buy-in keeps workers wearing eye protection both on and off the job!
Richman: In eye protection, there are concerns about fog coating performance. The ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 standard only calls for anti-fog lasting eight seconds. There are some coatings that last eight seconds, while others can last weeks. Additionally, not all anti-fog glasses have consistent performance in wash cycles, meaning that if the user wipes fog from the glasses once, the coating can disappear. Users are looking for premium anti-fog solutions that have better longevity over time because many eye injuries come from users taking off their glasses to wipe them clear.
What do you wish workers better understood about using these products?
Richman: One size doesn’t fit all face sizes when it comes to eye and face protection. Today’s measurements for most safety glasses and goggles are based on generic head forms. The International Organization for Standardization is introducing eye protection testing on multiple different head forms to cover a wide variety of users. A proper fit is essential to helping protect that user from jobsite hazards such as dust and splashes.
Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association
Coming next month:
- Head protection