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Summer is approaching and our desire to get outside and be productive is growing. Yard work, home repairs and those crafts you don’t make time for during the school year are all calling your name as the sunny days become more reliable. Wear safety & protective eyewear for those do-it-yourself home projects.
The feeling of accomplishment when a task is completed is amazing, but the feeling that follows an eye injury is less than amazing.
While it might seem ridiculous to wear safety glasses or safety goggles at home, it is common for simple DIY projects to become more hazardous than they first appeared.
Safety guards help protect your eyes from falling objects, sharp edges, and flying particles, and can act as a shield when doing any work outside. Avoiding painful regret is as simple as putting on protective eyewear for the duration of all DIY projects.
Let’s review our top six tips for keeping your eyes safe this summer.
Tip #1: Wear The Right Safety Eyewear For The Occasion
Almost half of all workers who’ve experienced eye injuries were in fact wearing protective eyewear when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, it was once the wrong type of gear for the task that was at hand.
For example, swim goggles are great in the water but they won’t do much when met with flying tree branches. When welding, fashion sunglasses aren’t going to cut it. Simply masking over the eyes isn’t enough. Each type of eye protection gear has been designed for a specific activity and, therefore, the correct kind of gear is key to preventing injuries.
What’s more, the wrong eyewear for the job can lead to visibility troubles that introduce a new set of hazards. After all, if you can’t see because of fog, scratches, reflection or bright light, what good is it to be wearing them at all?
Tip #2: Get A Good Fit For Your Safety Eyewear
In many DIY projects, the particulate that you are looking to avoid is airborne and small. Dust, splatters and small debris can scatter in the breeze and evade the flat surface of your regular eyeglasses or sunglasses.
For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that you choose goggles that fit snugly to your face and don’t have gaps around the sides where these contaminants might be able to enter.
If you wear prescription glasses in order to be able to see, there are many great options that can be worn over top. Or, for top marks on protection without any compromise on visibility, talk to your eye care professional about prescription safety glasses made with aspect shields. (Aspect shields close in the gaps of the glasses for a more complete protection.)
The more comfortable the eyewear, the more likely you are to wear them. There’s a full range of possible added features available including UV protection, polarized lenses, vents to reduce fogging and even cushioned nose pads. If you’re a dedicated DIY-er, you may want to consider investing in a high quality pair of glasses to ensure your commitment to wearing them.
Tip #3: Check Periodically For Damage To Your Safety Eyewear
Just like other safety equipment, such as car seats or bike helmets, it’s advisable to inspect your eyewear for signs of weakness or damage and throw them away if there’s been an incident involving your protective gear. Scratches and chips can weaken the lenses and put your eyes at risk, so it is imperative that you replace scratched or chipped glasses immediately.
Invest in good quality goggles made of polycarbonate. These goggles are light-weight but can withstand scratches and breakage on impact.
Tip #4: Ensure The Safety Eyewear Is On Your Face
Eye safety cannot work if it’s not over the eyes.
This tip probably seems painfully obvious, but this happens more often than you’d think. Accidents commonly show up during those in-between moments when someone lifts the glasses to let fog clear or forgets to put them again on after a break. Sometimes glasses are removed forgetting others are still working nearby.
Remember to store your safety glasses in the same place every time. This will save you frustration in having to search for them and reduce the odds that you’ll try to quickly complete a task without them if they aren’t readily at hand.
Awareness is crucial not simply in the choosing of the right protective eyewear but also in the diligence of monitoring the environment that requires their use.
Tip #5: Do Not Diy Safety Eyewear For Your DIY Projects
Just because you can find plans on Lifehacker to make safety glasses out of a soda bottle, doesn’t mean you should. If your DIY plans include a marshmallow shooter, these make-at-home models may be enough. However, not surprisingly, these homemade glasses cannot protect against any significant hazard.
To be truly protective, look for the Z87.1 ANSI rating. You’ll find it either on the packaging or possibly on the glasses themselves. That’s the standard set by the American National Standards Institute who sets the bar for safety gear.
Tip #6: Wearing Safety Glasses Still Requires Good Common Sense When Working
Having the right protective eyewear and wearing them consistently doesn’t provide a pass for other unsafe behaviours.
If you are using chemicals, pay close attention to the wind direction to keep your face upwind and away from the sprayer. Don’t touch your face after removing your eyewear in case you accidentally introduce dirt or substances to your eyes.
Don’t work alone. It is wise to be sure someone else is home or nearby to help in case of an emergency. Keep a first-aid kit and a phone near as well.
Get Your Summer Task-list Finished Safely
The internet is full of personal accounts of incidents that could have been easily avoided had the right eyewear been worn. OSHA estimates 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear.
Safety eyewear is inexpensive and many models today look as stylish as sunglasses. Plus there’s nothing cooler than saving the delicate tissue of your eyes and the glasses will be a far better summer look than an eyepatch made of gauze and hospital tape.
Now, go forth and complete your summer task list – safely.