From construction workers to first responders to welders, dealing with the problem of fogged eyewear can be a constant struggle and frustration as well as a significant safety issue. Really, anyone working outside in warm weather can struggle with fogging eyewear as well as anyone who wears face shields either indoors or out.
Fortunately, several solutions exist for this problem. Before we get to those, let’s first understand the problem by looking at the main causes of fogging eyewear.
Causes of Fogging
Fogging happens when there is a temperature difference between the inner and outer surface of lenses, kind of like what happens when a glass of cold water sweats while sitting outside in the sun. Factors contributing to fogging include:
- Ambient heat, best understood when thinking of how much hotter the inside of a car sitting in the sun is than the actual outside temperature.
- Tight eyewear, often found with goggles and wraparound glasses because of a lack of air flow.
- Increased humidity in the air settling on lenses.
- Human exertion adding body heat and moisture through sweat.
Anyone with an eye for safety realizes the significant issues resulting from having to deal with fogged up eyewear, regardless of the cause.
Safety Issues Caused by Fogged Eyewear
Safety issues caused by fogging eyewear fall into two categories.
- Non-Compliance – Unfortunately, a solution for many is to remove their safety eyewear, making them vulnerable to a host of eye injuries.
- Impaired Vision – When eyewear is fogged, workers cannot see their best, if at all, and this leads to increased possibility of injury.
A third problem caused by fogging eyewear involves the lost productivity that comes when workers are injured from not wearing safety eyewear or are not able to see properly due to fogging or when workers must stop work to safely deal with fogged-up lenses.
Independent research, as reported in OH&S, confirmed the significant problem of fogging eyewear when it found that fogging is the number one vision-related barrier to wearing safety glasses. In addition, 28% of safety professionals believed fogged eyewear had contributed to injuries in their own workplaces.
5 Solutions for Fogging Eyewear in Hot Weather
While no product provides 100% fog-proof protection, solutions do exist that all but eliminate fogging as a problem. Consider the following 5 suggestions for eliminating fogged eyewear both as a safety hazard and an annoyance.
- Start simple. Often, just a simple change in eyewear design makes all the difference. A style that allows more air to flow around the lens will reduce or delay fogging.
- Apply anti-fog coating. In many cases, employers report the almost 100% elimination of problems caused by fogging eyewear after workers are provided with and apply anti-fog coating to their safety eyewear (glasses, goggles & shields). Knowing How to Use Anti-Fog Solutions may be the key to eliminating fogged-up eyewear.
- Buy Anti-Fog Eyewear. Almost uncountable options exist when it comes to finding the right anti-fog safety eyewear. Options include nearly any lens tint, bifocal lenses, polarized lenses and a variety of frame styles and fits, including those with attached LED lights.
- Go extreme. For most, glasses with anti-fog coating are enough to solve the problem, but a few others (for example, those needing to wear both prescription eyewear and safety eyewear or those working in extreme heat) need a more extreme solution. So, they turn to Extreme Anti-Fog Goggles because of their dual-pane lenses that eliminate condensation and their built-in fans that forcefully remove moisture and reduce fogging.
- Use a neck strap. Non-compliance often comes when workers remove glasses because of fog and fail to put them back on. With the goal of 100% compliance, wearing a neck strap or retainer to keep your safety glasses always nearby at least increases the chance for compliance.
Don’t fall victim to fogging, one of the most common causes of non-compliance and one of the biggest frustrations regarding safety eyewear. Consider the root cause of your particular fogging problem, and then take the necessary steps to eliminate it by implementing one or more of the above proposed solutions.