Learn from DIYers
You can go to Lifehacker to learn how to make a pair of safety glasses out of a soda bottle. The glasses even look pretty legit. Yet most of us know they won’t protect against any significant hazard. In fact, the post makes it clear that these glasses are meant to protect against a marshmallow shooter only and won’t protect against even “minor debris.”
Unfortunately, some DIYers seek to protect themselves from more than just marshmallows. Just check out the photos with this post. After you stop laughing at the ridiculousness of the “protection” this DIY eyewear offers, consider some important lessons regarding safety eyewear that we can learn from these DIYers.
They’re wearing the wrong type of protection.
About 40% of workers receiving eye injuries were wearing some form of protective eyewear when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, it was the wrong kind of protection for the task at hand.
Some examples… Only eyewear designed for welding protection should be worn when welding, not fashion sunglasses. Swim goggles are great in the water, but they won’t do much against an errant chainsaw or flying tree limb. The correct type of protection is necessary for the prevention of injuries. Not just any type of covering over the eyes will do.
What’s more, the wrong eye protection for the job often leads to visibility issues that introduce a whole new set of hazards. After all, if you can’t see because of fog, scratches, reflection or bright light, what good is having a pop bottle over your face?
The protection is simply inadequate.
In the workplace, 70% of eye injuries come from flying or falling objects or sparks. Contact with chemicals causes 20% of injuries. In the home, top culprits include metal and wood splinters when using power tools, flash injury from welding, blunt force trauma during yard work and chemical splash when cleaning. Now look at the photos again and ask yourself one question:
Are any of these individuals adequately protected from eye injury against the most common hazards?
While these DIY eyewear may prevent some chemicals and dust from reaching their eyes, they certainly won’t protect against much else. Even then, would you rely on any of these methods if you’re working in a dusty environment all day or using chemicals regularly?
Eye protection doesn’t work if it’s not over the eyes.
This one probably seems painfully obvious, but something similar happens more often than you’d think. See the guy with the swim goggles on top of his head? In that position, they wouldn’t even help him while swimming. The point is, eyewear has to be worn to protect.
Unfortunately, injuries often happen during those in-between moments when someone lifts eyewear to let fog clear or forgets to put it back on after taking a break. Or, they take it off when finished with a task forgetting others are still working nearby. Awareness is critical not just for choosing the right safety eyewear but also for wearing it when it matters most.
Sunglasses often provide little to no safety protection.
While many sunglasses do protect against the harmful UV rays of the sun, even that’s not a guarantee. If they don’t say they do, don’t buy them.
Beyond that, many sunglasses do not provide any protection against impact. If they aren’t ANSI Z87 rated sunglasses, they probably don’t.
Also, sunglasses certainly do not protect against welder’s flash since they do not have the necessary shade for any type of welding. Knowing the protection that sunglasses do and do provide is essential to keep sunglasses from doing more harm than good.
Ask the Experts
Some people get quite creative when it comes to do-it-yourself safety eyewear. And while they truly may think they’re doing something right, they’re simply not.
Use some logic when choosing the type of safety eyewear that is best for the task at hand. And when the right eyewear choice isn’t obvious, ask workplace safety personnel or safety experts like those at Safety Glasses USA. In the time it takes to make your own marshmallow safety glasses — or any DIY safety eyewear for that matter — you’ll be set for real situations with real hazards.
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