When NOT to Wear Tinted Safety Glasses

tinted-safety-glassesWhile many good reasons exist for wearing tinted safety glasses at work — when working for long periods in bright sunshine and during high-intensity light tasks such as welding, for example — there are some situations where NOT wearing tinted lenses is safer.

Night Driving. Unfortunately, no perfectly safe option exists for those wanting to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night. In “Shedding Some Light on Night Driving Challenges and Solutions, Part 2,” Michael Eldridge from Safety Glasses USA says,

The bottom line remains that having perfect vision for driving at dawn, dusk or nighttime simply isn’t possible. The first approach should be to remove any obstacles to clear vision… Should you choose to experiment with night driving glasses or even with various lens tints, know clearly that eye experts warn against this as a safe option.”

Any tinted lenses used during low-light conditions will reduce visibility even further because while they darken oncoming headlights, they also darken total surroundings as well making driving less-than safe. Instead, do what you can to eliminate any sources of night vision problems as discussed in “Shedding some Light on Night Driving Challenges, Part  1” before deciding on other options, such as trying tinted lenses.

Low-Light Work Conditions. When working in shaded areas, at dusk, indoors and at night, workers should wear clear lenses to allow proper lighting for the job at hand. All too often, though, workers wear tinted lenses all day, every day, instead of making the switch when necessary.

For up-close work, working in a trench, tight proximity work, using power tools, etc. You should be wearing clear lenses. It’s not a fashion show, it’s a work site,” says John Meola, safety consultant with Invincia Insurance Solutions in Chesterfield, VA in “Ten Tips to Prevent the Construction-Accident High Season.

Fortunately, Safety glasses with interchangeable lenses provide the perfect solution for workers who may spend a great deal of time working in the sun but who also have tasks to perform in low-light conditions.

Constantly-Changing Situations. Some work situations require moving from an outside to an inside environment and back again regularly. Those few moments with a dramatic change in lighting can produce unsafe conditions without the proper safety eyewear. The best options in these situations are NOT transition lenses, however, as many believe.

Photochromic lenses should rarely be authorized since the rate of tint change is too slow to allow movement into and out of buildings where eye injury hazards exist.” (Safety Glasses and Tinted Lenses)

Instead, ANSI recommends using flip-up lenses attached to safety glasses, giving wearers an almost instantaneous view of their surroundings whether inside or outside in the sun.

For sure, individuals exposed to sunlight while working should protect their eyes with tinted safety sunglasses having 99.9% UV protection. But often, situations require using a clear lens to allow for better visibility and thus a safer working situation. Take time to understand when tinted lenses are not the best option and to find a suitable alternative for your specific situation.

Introducing Oakley’s NEW Prizm™ Lens Technology

oakley-si-prizm-graphic

Oakley’s NEW Standard Issue Prizm™ Lenses for its shooting and tactical line of glasses provides peak performance that starts with razor-sharp focus. This new lens enhances the ability of the human eye to adapt and to see with sharpness while providing protection and comfort for wearers.

Specifically designed with the needs of marksmen in mind, the NEW Prizm™ Lens provides optimal vision in a variety of field conditions. By strategically blocking wavelengths along the color spectrum, the lens maximizes contrast between colors, resulting in enhanced vision and reduced eye fatigue.

Prizm™ Lens Features

Because Oakley’s Prizm™ lenses are color-tuned specifically for shooting, they boost a shooter’s recognition of targets by blocking background distractions such as dirt, trees and sky. These lenses will also improve a wearer’s ability to see reticle patterns through a scope more clearly.  This allows shooters to better determine scale or position when honing in on targets.

The Prizm™ currently comes in two lens types, the TR45 and the TR 22. The TR 45 Prizm™ Lens is a lighter-shaded lens and offers 45% VLT (visible light transmission), perfect for overcast days or low-light conditions. The TR22 Prizm™ Lens is a darker shade and allows for 22% VLT, better for bright, sunny days.

All Oakley lenses are made from Plutonite, Oakley’s high purity optical grade polycarbonate to protect wearers from fragments that could damage eyes. All lenses also block 100% of UVA, UVB, UVC & harmful violet-blue light up to 400nm.

Also standard are a smudge-free lens coating, a secure fit even in wet conditions via hydrophilic Unobtainium nose pads, an advanced backside anti-fog coating, and a front-side hard coating for scratch resistance.

Prizm™ Lens Frame Options

The new CE Prizm™ Lenses come in several frame options.

The SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 is compatible with helmet-mounted night vision devices & MICH, ACH, CVC, PASGT & Crye helmets. This frame is also compatible with over-ear hearing protection/comms, has a quick, tool-free lens change, and is chemical and impact resistant as well as ultra lightweight. And, of course, the SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 meets all ballistic and tactical standards for military use.

Not only does the SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 protect soldiers from the smallest, mission-ending fragment, it also provides the optical clarity that helps soldiers avoid adding danger to an already dangerous situation. With uncompromising comfort, soldiers can concentrate and stay focused in a way that maximizes their efficiency.

Rounding out Oakley’s new Prizm™ lens offerings for ballistic and tactical wear is the Oakley Tactical SI M-Frame Helo Gasket for Ballistic 2.0 and 3.0 . The Helo Gasket is a lightweight and soft rubberized gasket that blocks wind and dust and is ideal for airborne and rotary wing operations.

Both Prizm™ lenses also come in the Oakley SI Radar Range frame. This frame is lightweight, stress-resistant and comfortable. It comes with multiple interchangeable nose pad options for a customizable and secure fit.

For individuals needing both lens types, the Oakley SI Radar Range CE Array and the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 CE Array both provide interchangeable lens options that include the TR22 and the TR45.Oakley SI Prizm Array

Another frame option, the Oakley SI Flak Jacket with Prizm™ Lens is currently in production stages and will soon be available.

All Oakley Prizm™ glasses meet or exceed ANSI standards.