Do I need Prescription Safety Glasses if I Work in the Construction Industry?

If you have a job working in the construction industry, you are a large part of the workforce in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 9,813,000 people work in the construction industry. Some of the many jobs available in the construction industry include:

  • Boilermakers
  • Construction equipment operators
  • Construction laborers and helpers
  • Electricians
  • Insulation workers
  • Ironworkers
  • Masonry workers
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
  • Roofers
  • Carpenters

Working in the construction industry means you probably know the importance of safety. If you are just entering the field, considering the industry, or have been in the field for many years, it’s helpful to review some of the most important safety tips on the job.

Scaffolds and ladders

More than half of construction workers use scaffolds as a part of the job. Workers who use a scaffold or ladder are at risk of falling or having objects fall on them. Wearing a hard hat helps minimize injury in the case of an accident. If the scaffold has any ice, mud, or water lying on it, then you should not attempt to work on it. OSHA requires that workers on scaffolds be attached to a fall arrest system, which is a body harness if the height exceeds 6 feet. In these cases, a fall arrest system must be securely fastened so that if an accident occurs, the person does not free fall any more than 6 feet. In addition, scaffolds must be able to support four times the amount of its anticipated load. For example, if 300 pounds of weight will be on the scaffold, it needs to have a weight capacity of 1,200 pounds. When working on a scaffold keep the area as clean and neat as possible. This helps prevent tripping over things and falling. At the end of the day, eliminate any debris and clear the work area.

When using ladders, your tools should be safely attached to you via a tool belt. Another option is to use a rope to pull your tools up when you get to your destination. The main objective is to be sure your hands are free. Climbing ladders can be hazardous if you don’t maintain three points of contact at all times. The three points of contact refer to both feet and at minimum one hand. Both scaffolds and ladders need to be inspected for damage before each use. Also, both must be on a flat and solid surface before beginning the task.

Machinery and Equipment

Many of the machines construction workers operate pose a risk. Some heavy equipment that construction workers may use include:

  • Forklifts
  • Backhoes
  • Skid steers
  • Excavators
  • Trenchers

Using heavy equipment can be hazardous if not operated correctly or if the machine malfunctions. Always be completely aware of your surroundings when operating any machinery. In addition, if someone else is working a machine and you are on the ground, never attempt to cross the path of the machine. Wait until the machine has completed its task or is no longer in your pathway. It only takes one clumsy move and you could trip and slip underneath the equipment. Make sure you know all the mechanisms of the machine you are operating. Do not assume you will just learn as you go. All equipment is slightly different and you need to be comfortable using it. Actually, the United States Department of Labor states “the employer shall permit only those employees qualified by training or experience to operate equipment and machinery.”

Protective gear

One of the best ways to protect against injury on the construction site is to wear needed work wear. By wearing the essential gear for your industry, you safeguard yourself from injury. Here is a breakdown of what is necessary.

Head: Hard hats are common on the construction site especially if you will be working on the ground.

Feet: Workers need to have a heavy solid shoe or boot to prevent slipping. In addition, the steel-toed boots will protect your feet in the event something falls on them.

Ear protection: Many work sites are extremely noisy. The sound of electric tools, heavy equipment, and in some cases the traffic driving by. If you are in a setting with increased noise level, use earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears from hearing damage.

Hands: There is a variety of construction gloves. Each glove is designed with the job in mind. For example, individuals who work with concrete need durable rubber gloves, people who work around electrical hazards need insulating gloves, and so on. Decide what type of gloves you need based on your job position.

Eye safety: The eyes are vulnerable while doing construction work. Some of the many risks to the eyes include:

  • Flying debris
  • Splashing hot metals
  • Radiation

Around 2,000 eye injuries occur every day in the United States. Sustaining an eye injury can be extremely serious since the sight is involved. Safety glasses or goggles should be worn in order to protect the eyes adequately. If you already wear prescription glasses, you may be wondering if your regular glasses will be sufficient. However, your prescription glasses alone do not meet up to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety guidelines. Fortunately, you can get Wiley X prescription safety glasses or goggles. Wiley X features a long list of safety glasses that adheres to the ANSI standards. Some of the eyewear available for those in the construction industry include:

WX Nash: nashThese prescription-ready safety glasses come from the Active Lifestyle line and meet the highest standard of ANSI. This means it holds up against rigorous conditions and is shatterproof. Side panels on the glasses protect your eyes from flying debris or particles. When you work in outdoor conditions, you need not be concerned with the sun’s rays because the Wiley X Nash gives you 100 % UVA/UVB protection.

Spear: These Tactical Goggles are for those who want added protection for their eyes. The Spear goggles “meet the MIL-PRF-32432(GL) Ballistic Standards. ANSI Z87.1-2010 High Velocity and Mass Impact Standards, and EN 166 B Resistance to High-Speed Particles, and US Federal OSHA 1910.133(b)(1)(i) Standards.” If you want the versatility of being indoors and outdoors with these safety goggles, you’ll love that they come with two lenses. One lens is smoke grey and offers 100 % UVA/UVB protection, while the other lens is clear with a light transmission of 90 %. For those jobs that last into the evening hours, these goggles are Night Vision Goggle compatible.

Gravity: These prescription-ready safety glasses meet all the rigorous demands of ANSI plus have a T shell lens coating that resists scratching. wiley_x_gravityThe distinct feature of the Wiley X Gravity is the removable facial cavity that helps block out fine particles such as dust, debris, and even pollen. The facial cavity is made of soft foam and provides a tight seal around the eyes.

Working in the construction industry is a rewarding career, yet it comes with its risks. Protect yourself against dangers on the job by using the appropriate safety gear. From head to toe, follow the guidelines for safety.If you already wear prescription glasses, then investing in a pair of Wiley X prescription safety glasses will begin your journey to a safe environment.

At Rx Safety, we are committed to your safety on the job. For more information about Wiley X safety glasses, contact us today!

References:

http://www.constructconnect.com/blog/construction-safety/10-construction-site-safety-tips/

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/construction_ppe.html

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