“Be Prepared” has been the Scout Motto for over 100 years. It means to be ready in both mind and body for the task at hand. For welding preparing the body means wearing the proper protective equipment. Whether a person is welding full time or if it is an occasional task it is vital to maintain the same levels of protection of the eyes and face. As Katie Twist-Rowlinson points out in Industrial Hygiene News, “no matter how infrequently welding operations are performed – or how briefly welding is conducted – it is essential to protect the eyes and face from the obvious and hidden dangers of welding.” As a welder, a non-welder that assists or works in the welding area, or a safety engineer/manager/supervisor, how are you preparing yourself and your co-workers to protect their vision?
Proper primary personal protection equipment for the eyes and face cannot be left to chance. Welding, cutting, soldering, and brazing no matter how occasional require ANSI Z87.1-2010 protective eye wear under the welding helmet. The markings should be found on the frame AND lenses. On the frames the permanent “Z87” should be clearly visible. The lenses should have a monogram on the corner nearest the temple. This marking will be the initials of the lens manufacturer or, in the case of a prescription product, the lab that generated the lenses. All lenses from SafeVision, for example, would say “SV” or “SV+.” The “+” represents the use of safety certified ballistic polycarbonate. This is the lightest most impact resistant material used in safety eyewear. Without the monogram on the lens it is not certified safety.
In a study done by Dr. D A Lombardi at Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 63.4% of the recordable welding related eye injuries were related to foreign bodies and 19.7% from UV radiation for welders. For this reason foam gasket frames are becoming mandatory for many companies. Properly fitted, worn and maintained; foam gasket prescription frames and non-prescription frames with foam surround can reduce foreign body and particulate injuries down to zero.
For non-welders in the area, according to the same study, 40% of eye injuries were caused by foreign bodies and 41% by UV radiation. This means those working in the welding area (within 20 feet) are also at risk for exposure to radiant energy as well as heavy particulate injury. As noted by Ms. Twist-Rowlinson, “Weather shaded or clear, protective eyewear delivers built-in UV protection…consider primary eyewear with specialized lens filters that employ IR-absorbing dyes for added protection.” For workers who require prescription safety eyewear that have to spend time in the welding area this becomes cumbersome. Traditional Styles with side shields restrict peripheral vision and while side shields offer UV protection they do not offer IR filtration. Traditional frames don’t protect against heavy particulate that can blow around the lens coverage.
Wrap-Around style prescription safety frames by SafeVision, LLC would be the exception. Wrap-Around frames offer increased peripheral vision and the added protection from the IR tint in the lens. For the person working directly with the arc, wrap frames offer superior comfort and are much lighter weight. For the people that work near welders or maintenance workers that pass through these areas regularly, wrap-around style prescription eyewear would be a welcome alternative to bulky over the glass and restrictive traditional styles.
How are you preparing yourself and your workforce in these vulnerable high risk areas? What is the use of inadequate primary protection costing you in recordable injuries, loss of hours, and lowered productivity?
Founded in 1998, SafeVision is the maker of the popular wrap-around style safety frames. Its corporate safety plans are known for having the largest selection of Wrap Around Style Safety Frames and Foam Gasket Eyewear in the industry and budget conscience pricing. SafeVision currently serves over 350 large and small businesses and thousands of individual customers around the world. SafeVision branded frames can be viewed at www.safevision.net. For more information on SafeVision’s frames and corporate safety eyewear plans, contact us at [email protected] or call 888-254-7406 or 314-961-7406.
Colby Nulik / Sales Representative
8045 Big Bend Blvd Suite 110
St. Louis, Missouri 63119
Coming Soon…UV and IR filtering Tints for Welders and Non-welders