Health and Safety laws require employers to protect the well-being of their employees by providing them with the necessary equipment and clothing to perform their job safely. In hazardous roles, a worker’s eyes may be at an increased risk of deterioration or even loss of sight due to materials, machinery or chemicals that can have a negative impact on the eye. In this situation, quality safety glasses such as specs or goggles are essential to safeguard the health of your workforce.
What Is The Responsibility Of The Employer?
To satisfy compliance regulations, the employer must appoint a health and safety officer to carry out assessments about the risks involved in a person’s job. Where a threat to eyesight is identified, the employer should then take positive steps to mitigate this risk by providing the staff with protective eyewear. The onus is on the employer to be proactive about health and wellbeing and they should always supply and pay for any personal protective eyewear that is required to allow the employee to carry out their duties. Safety glasses start from 92p per pair regardless of the quantity ordered.
Employers must also anticipate the threat of an incident occurring and supply access to first aid supplies and eyewash dispenser solutions onsite so that a worker has instant treatment if an emergency were to arise.
Standard of Personal Protective Eyewear
The personal protective eyewear that you supply to your staff should always comply with British and European standards, of which there are different levels of protection depending on the type of role they’re required for. For example, some types of eyewear may be needed to protect against the threat of working with heat, whereas others are designed to deal with impact or flying debris. You should look for the CE mark as a stamp of European regulations.
What Types Of Role Require Protective Eyewear?
There are many industries that are dependent on the use of protective eyewear as a critical requirement for workers to perform their jobs safely. The scope of these industries includes jobs in both indoor and outdoor environments.
Factory workers such as operators, engineers or even cleaners come into contact with hazardous equipment on a daily basis when they’re working on the factory floor. Your employer must assess the extent of the risk to your eyes, and may require you to wear protective eyewear either all the time, or only in certain zones, for instance if you’re working in the vicinity of a piece of dangerous machinery.
The following protective eyewear will protect factory workers from the risks associated with this environment.
If it’s sparks or flying debris that you need to avoid, then safety goggles or spectacles are designed with sides that act as a barrier to prevent anything from reaching the eye itself which is effectively encased. Such eyewear often comes with anti-scratch and anti-fog features to ensure maximum visibility throughout the working day.
Construction workers who are based indoors perhaps as craftsman operating small machinery and tools such as drills or hammers will also experience similar risks to factory workers. Airborne particles and dust from the materials you’re using can easily affect and damage your eyes when you’re carrying out your work. Chemicals can also be a risk, as everything from plastic compounds to superglue can affect the condition of your eyes and could harm them in the long run.
Employees who are based outdoors may need to protect their eyes from similar hazards too. Road workers or traffic wardens still need to shield their eyes from flying debris, but in this case, it is more likely to be grit and dust that safety goggles are the perfect solution for.
However, outdoor employees also have the additional threat of working in direct sunlight, and UV rays are known to be harmful to the eyes. Choosing eyewear such as the Challenger Goggle is essential in this case, as this item comes with a panoramic UV protective lens to ensure a superior level of defence. The goggle starts from £4.24.
Construction workers who use welding equipment will require a more extensive type of shield such as a full welding helmet or else welding safety screens or gas welding goggles depending on the nature of the job.
Responsibilities Of The Employee
Once your employer has identified the risks to your eye health and has supplied you with the perfect protective eyewear equipment to allow you to perform your job safely, the responsibility then passes on to you to ensure that you look after your eyewear and use it as required.
If you notice any scratches or damage to your eyewear, you should report this immediately to your supervisor as it may not be safe for you to continue in your role until a replacement pair of goggles or glasses has been allocated.
You should also take the wearing of such eyewear seriously and not be tempted to remove the protection. Even if you wear prescription glasses, these are no substitute for protective eyewear which will use stronger, reinforced materials to fully encase your eyes and keep them safe. Glasses such as the PW030 Portwest Visitor Safety Spectacles allow you to wear your own prescription glasses beneath the protective eyewear, so it’s not an either/or situation.
PPE Supplies Direct stock a wide range of protective eyewear solutions and you’ll benefit from lower prices placed on bulk orders so you can protect your entire workforce. If you have any questions about a specific item or your order, please contact our friendly team on 0808 109 6099 and we’ll be happy to help!