If you work in an environment that’s hazardous to the eyes, eye protection is usually required, and your compliance to this requirement keeps your eyes safe. On the other hand, the eye safety requirement of your job is probably the last thing on your mind when relaxing and enjoying your free time. However, eye injuries can happen at any time regardless of the activity or of why you’re doing it. An injury only requires a fast-moving object or a harsh chemical to contact the eye.
Barring paper cuts, some activities such as reading a book are generally safe while many active activities are not. Here are four hobbies that can cause serious injury to your eyes:
If you do a lot of casting, such as when fly fishing, an errant cast could hook an eye. You and anyone with you should wear safety or prescription safety glasses. This applies whether the other person is fishing or not. A mistake on your part can potentially injure anyone within reach of your cast.
Fish themselves may also present a danger to the eyes such as when handling catfish. Catfish have a spine on their fins that can puncture the skin or an eye. In addition, the spine contains venom that’s delivered after it penetrates the flesh. Wearing safety glasses while unhooking or handling a wiggling and slippery fish like this is only prudent. Some fish are harmless while others aren’t. Do your research on the fish you wish to catch, especially when they’re salt water fish.
If you aren’t wearing a helmet visor, eye protection is essential. The unprotected eye is exposed to bugs, flying rocks, gravel, and other road debris. High strength and impact resistant safety or prescription safety glasses are the only eyewear you should consider. Note that safety glasses don’t have to look like the safety glasses you wear at work. Provided they cover most of the eyes and meet the right ANSI safety standards, they can look stylish.
BB Guns and Slingshots
Although BB guns are non-lethal, their BBs can sting through clothing, draw some blood when impacting bare skin, and cause blindness if one impacts an eye. When engaged in shooting games against other people, you should only use full seal goggles designed specifically for this purpose. Further details about engaging in these games are beyond the scope of this post.
If you’re using a BB gun for target practice or hunting, always wear safety or prescription safety glasses. Although no one is shooting back at you, BBs can ricochet back at you off hard surfaces. People have hit themselves in the face doing this. The same is true when using slingshots for target practice or hunting. The steel “ammo balls” shot from a powerful slingshot can also ricochet and cause a lot of damage.
Artists engage in a broad range of activities. Those whose work involves steel, will use the same tools as steel workers such as welders and cutting torches. These artists should use the same eye and face protection as well. Glasswork can expose the eyes to UV radiation, infrared, and other hazards. Woodworking involves power tools that expose the eyes to flying bits of wood and other projectiles. Goggles or safety glasses that seal the eyes are required for situations that generate a lot of air-borne dust.
Of course, the above are just a small sampling of the many recreational activities that require eye protection. Others include, wrestling, martial arts, hunting, off-trail bushwhacking, baseball, bicycling, and racquetball. The eye hazards of recreational activities pretty much span the same categories found in the workplace. Beginners or novices to a new activity are at most risk because of their lack of knowledge and experience. If this is you, do your research or talk to someone with years of experience.
If you require safety or prescription safety glasses for your recreational activities, Rx-Safety can provide you with the proper eyewear. For more information and answers to your questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.