With eye and face protection requirements often overlooked by individuals as part of their essential PPE, the experts at Hultafors Group explore whether the risk is a price worth paying.
Face protection products such as safety glasses, masks and visors have been brought into much sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re all critical components in the PPE framework that ensures wellbeing and safety at work.
In business and industrial environments, the use of face protection products should be second nature. But, believe it or not, a recent report showed that many men are now more concerned about face masks of the cosmetic kind than personal safety and protection on-site.
A poll of 1,000 people found that British males spend an average £760-a-year on ‘essentials’ to keep their skin in tip-top condition. That’s probably far more than a single person would spend on PPE in a year. What’s more, it’s estimated that the UK market for men’s face care products is worth over £77 million a year!
But anti-wrinkle creams, facial washes, scrubs and face masks will hardly provide proper protection of vital facial features when working in hazardous environments. Sadly, accidents happen all the time, sometimes in the most innocuous situations that we might ordinarily take for granted.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, industrial and construction-related work has a much higher rate of facial injuries than any other, with hazards many and varied. Chemicals and extreme heat sources are also dangerous to the face. Splashes, fumes, vapours and irritating mists can scald and burn while welding arcs, UV radiation and intense light can damage your eyes.
The consequences of facial injuries are serious, and potentially life-changing. An injury can cause a lifetime of permanent disfigurement, even loss of sight. Surely that’s a good enough reason to use proper eye and face protection products all the time.
What to look for in safety eyewear
Comfort and fit is really important, as are lightweight, durable materials to provide complete protection and flexibility of design for combination with other PPE, including ear defenders, safety helmets, and visors.
Also, look out for specially developed lens technology for impact-resistance, plus anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings on both sides as well as styles that can be worn over prescription glasses.
Around the lens, ergonomic designs should incorporate practical features, like a soft nose bridge and ‘adjustable temples’, which ensure the glasses stay in place and fit safely.
What to look for in face protection visors
BS EN 166:2002 is the International Standard for eye and face protection, covering personal protective eye wear in the form of visors and eye shields. It’s important to look for this standard when you’re choosing what products to use.
Think carefully about hazards in the work environment and look for a product that’s designed for a comfortable, tight and ergonomic fit for maximum protection, so that no objects get around the edges of the visor. The visor should cover your face from at least the forehead to the base of the chin.
The best quality visors are available in different materials, thickness and size which correspond to specific hazard protection. You can even get visors that are treated with an anti-fog coating. Don’t assume that a basic product that you might use for strimming or jet washing will provide maximum effective protection on a construction site.
Polycarbonate provides impact and heat resistance. It’s also used for arc flash, high heat, chemical splash and radiation protection while Acetate also provides excellent resistance to chemical splash.
For protection against radiation (IR and UV), look for visors that are made from special tinted and/or coated polycarbonate. Mesh visors are generally used to protect the face from flying debris and large dust particles.
Top quality protection
Hellberg Safety specialist PPE products include highly advanced face protection products, noise hazard protection and communication solutions for personal safety and wellbeing on-site.
Hellberg’s interoperable face protection products offer helmet and visor solutions to suit a variety of internal and external work situations. With a standard product design across the range, users are able to mix and match visors, carriers, and hearing protectors for complete ‘headband-only’ or ‘safety helmet’ solutions that protect against the hazards faced in differing task environments.
Recently added to the portfolio is a new range safety eyewear. With a wide range of street-smart styles – from basic to premium – the new range ensures a consistently clear line of sight and safe vision for professionals, wherever they’re working on-site.
Get more details about Hellberg Safety’s eye and face protection range by clicking here