Eye injuries are quite common among persons dealing with commercial machinery, fabricated metal products and computerised equipment, accounting for 25% of all injuries in the welding industry. With this in mind, it is essential that employers provide safety glasses for their workers.
However, even with the eyewear at their disposal, some employees do not always wear them. Among the reasons for not adhering include the following.
Lack of Visual Acuity
A frequently cited reason for employees’ reluctance to wear protective eyewear is a distortion of vision. There are products in the market that offer low quality with the products being price driven. In such cases, the gear will offer inferior optical capabilities leading to discomfort and fatigue.
To prevent this and ensure that the eye protection safety glasses your employees wear offer a clear vision, only purchase products with superior optical clarity. You can do this by settling for recognised brands that have a good reputation and those that have established themselves as an authority in the industry. This will boost the compliance rate and you will see a bump in their use.
Build-Up of Moisture
Another reason for not wanting to wear the protective gear is accumulation of moisture. This is more so on the inner lenses of goggles and glasses. Fortunately, anti-fogging technology can help minimise it and offer different levels of protection from fogging. To find out which works right for you, try the technology at your work environment. This way you will end up with glasses that are efficient and appropriate for your work place.
In processes that involve dust, fabricating equipment, drills and chemical production, it is necessary to protect the eyes from microscopic airborne particles. As a result, sealed eyewear is required. Since this type of protection fits snugly, the wearers cite experiencing discomfort when worn for a long period. To curb this, opt for eyewear with appropriate shapes and replaceable foam inserts. In addition, consider the anti-fog technology discussed above when purchasing sealed safety glasses.
When it comes to personal protective equipment, the employer should not just provide the necessary gear but also enforce its use. In case the workers are reluctant to use them, investigate and find out what their reasons are. Once you know these and rectify, here are additional tips to enhance compliance.
- Training – It is essential that employees understand why they need to use assigned eye protection wear. Training introduces them to the equipment and establishes its significance. It also exposes them to the industry’s regulatory requirements. When they understand the hazards they are exposed to, how to use protective gear to protect themselves from them, their limitations, care and maintenance, they are well equipped to use the eyewear appropriately.
- Reinforcement – This includes retraining and is necessary if the training does not work, there are changes in the type of eyewear used or employees exhibit inadequacies. It is meant to reacquaint them and emphasise on the significance of using it in preventing injuries.
- Enforcement – Enforcing this requirement may be necessary if all else fails. Offer incentives to those who adhere and have negative rewards for those who do not. Also, allow employees to offer feedback, with the aim of eliminating unsafe behaviour and encouraging the use of protective eyewear.
Addressing the above issues and looking for ways to encourage employees to wear their safety glasses at work goes a long way. It ensures that they adhere to the set rules and use the gear at hand appropriately, which minimises workplace eye injuries.