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Why wear safety glasses? | Training Tuesday


Why wear safety glasses?

Why wear safety glasses? Luckily, it’s Training Tuesday at Hercules SLR, where we bring you training tips for rigging, securing, lifting, safety and more each week.

This week, the focus is on eye safety and why you should wear safety glasses—Even when it seems trivial.

First of all, why wear safety glasses? Well, even with all we know about the importance of eye safety and the availability of eye glasses, approximately 700 eye injuries happen to Canadian workers each day, and each year about 720,000 eye injuries occur at work and home—According to the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, nearly 90% of these injuries are preventable. One in four people who sustain eye injuries must take time off school or work.

So, why don’t workers wear safety glasses? There are a few reasons. For every 5 workers injured, 3 were not wearing eye protection.

Common excuses for not wearing eye protection include:

  • Don’t fit comfortably over their prescription glasses
  • They don’t fit well, slip, are tight, etc.
  • Think the rule doesn’t really apply to them or is unnecessary

Yes, these issues can make PPE uncomfortable, but are easily remedied to give you comfort and safety. Low-cost, scratch-resistant prescription safety glasses or lens-covers are available. Yes, it’s important to wear a pair of comfortable glasses, and safety glasses are available in a variety of styles and fits so everyone can find a style that suits their needs. As far as being unnecessary, if there’s a rule in place that states you should wear safety glasses—You should.

Even if you’re just doing what seems like ‘a quick job’, accidents and injuries also happen quickly.

So, why wear safety glasses?

Well, safety glasses are a defense against hazards at work that could injure your eyes (or other body parts, for that matter).

safety glasses statistics























Some of these hazards include:

  • Dust, dirt and other debris
  • Chemicals, like irritants and corrosives
  • UV radiation from electrical or welding work
  • Flying particles from cutting, drilling, digging, etc.
  • Tree branches or other obstacles faced when working at heights or in natural environments

Safety glasses are a great step to take to reduce these hazards, and eliminate eye injuries. In addition to safety glasses, employers and workers should take these additional steps to reduce, or eliminate hazards and prevent injury—To reduce eye-related hazards in general:

  • Use protective screens/side shields with your safety glasses as needed to prevent particles from falling into eyes.
  • Try to enclose sources of irritants (Gases, fumes, dusts, etc.)
  • Isolate hazards whenever possible (EX. Keep equipment, like table saws, away from high-traffic areas or from workers who don’t use them).
  • Keep work areas well-lighted to reduce glare from ignitions and other light sources

Types of Safety Glasses

Good protective eyewear should be light, comfortable, allow a clear line of vision, block radiation if/when possible, be adaptable to working conditions, have good ventilation and be scratch-resistant.

Certification or the manufacturer mark should be available on all safety glass lenses, frames, side shields and any other parts of the glasses. The frames should be designed to prevent lenses from dislodging from frames and into eyes, have more strength than typical optical glasses and are usually heat-resistant.

There are 6 classes of eye (and face) protection. These are:

CLASS 1: Safety glasses

CLASS 2: Safety goggles

CLASS 3: Welding helmets

CLASS 4: Welding hand shields

CLASS 5: Hoods

CLASS 6: Face shields

According to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), safety glasses should be impact-resistant. They outline three different, common types of lens materials—But not all should be used.

The three different and common types of lens materials are:


  • Strongest for impact-resistance
  • Can have scratch-resistant coating and UV protection


  • Lightweight (Weighs about 1/2 of what glass does)
  • Resistant to solvents & pitting


  • Highly-dense material
  • Loses impact-resistance when scratched, and are prone to scratching
  • Glass lenses do not meet the CSA impact criteria


  • More impact-resistant than CR39 plastic
  • Less impact-resistant than polycarbonate
  • Has properties to help absorb UV rays


  • More impact-resistant than CR39 plastic
  • Less impact-resistant than polycarbonate
  • Has properties to help absorb UV rays

So, why wear safety glasses?

7 Tips to Protect your Eyes

Now that you know why it’s important to wear safety glasses, check out our seven tips to keep your eyes safe and prevent injury at work (and everywhere, really).

why wear safety glasses? tips to protect your eyes