Safety glasses are an essential tool used in the work place, while doing yard work or as a piece of equipment on the sports field. Regardless of what you call them or where you use them, they serve the same purpose: prevent eye injury. And like any tool or piece of equipment, they must be taken care of properly in order for them to be effective. Employing basic care and maintenance habits will ensure that your safety glasses last a long time. Establish a routine to care for your safety glasses by following these 10 tips to make sure you get as much mileage out of them as possible.
- Clean daily. Cleaning can be as simple as rinsing glasses under cool water to remove debris and then drying with a soft cloth. Even spraying with a can of compressed air can remove dust and other particles that may have accumulated. The ideal option is to keep a cloth especially made for cleaning glasses handy. Individual pre-moistened lens towelettes are another convenient option.
- Use lens cleaner regularly. While water can be an easy way to clean safety glasses, lens cleaners can help remove residue that water cannot. Never use soap, which can leave a residue on glasses.
- Clean sides and ear pieces too. If you haven’t done this in a while (if ever) you’ll be surprised at how grimy the sides and ear pieces on glasses can get. This grime can migrate onto the lenses, so it’s wise to clean these parts often in addition to keeping lenses clean.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners or rough cloths. These can scratch lenses and make glasses un-wearable.
- Avoid household cleaners. Glass cleaners and cleaners used to clean hard surfaces such as counter tops can damage any special coating (anti-fog coating for example) on safety glasses. As noted above, use warm water and a soft cloth or cleaner made especially for glasses.
- Inspect daily. Look for any broken pieces or cracks every day. Glasses that are even slightly cracked can fail to provide the necessary protection should an accident occur.
- Consider storage. The best option for storing glasses is in a hard case or microfiber pouch especially made for safety glasses. If glasses do not come with a case, a Microfiber Pouch is a great option because it doubles as a cleaning cloth for glasses. If a case is unavailable and you don’t want to purchase one, an old sock is another option for storing glasses and keeping them free from scratches.
- Use a retention strap. Some jobs allow for glasses to be removed at periodic times (such as at lunch, at break time, or during a meeting) during the day, and many people simply place them on a workbench, table or in their laps at these times. Unfortunately, this can put glasses out of reach when needed again, and glasses are also more likely to get damaged too. The best option is a retention strap that allows glasses to hang from the wearer’s neck thus allowing the glasses to be readily available.
- Replace when necessary. Damaged or scratched safety glasses pose a safety hazard and should be replaced. When lenses are scratched, vision becomes impaired and strains eyes. When glasses are damaged, they may lose their ability to protect as they should.
- Use anti-fog solutions. Many glasses come with anti-fog technology, but many do not. Anti-fog solution can be purchased and provide an effective way to keep safety glasses clear of fog.
The above habits for the care and maintenance of safety glasses are easily implemented in the workplace by providing workers with a readily available and well-stocked cleaning station. Individuals can implement their own system using a personal cleaning kit. These kits will make keeping safety glasses in good shape simple and convenient.
Safety glasses provide much needed protection for eyes in a variety of settings from the workplace to the athletic field. But if they are not cared for properly, they lose their effectiveness and can even become a hazard. When you invest in a good pair of safety glasses, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth and that they last a long time. Consistent and proper maintenance of safety glasses is a simple habit that will keep safety glasses in proper condition as well as looking great for many years!
For more details on this topic, please see the “How to Clean Your Safety Glasses.”