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When Should Safety Glasses Be Worn? – Important Facts

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

When Should Safety Glasses Be Worn

Safety glasses should be worn to prevent a potential risk of optical and facial injury. It can be when we’re working, doing sports, or household repair tasks. We need to understand when should safety glasses be worn, especially that eye hazards are always present and that injury can happen at the most unexpected time.

Although high-risk workplaces strictly implement the use of safety glasses, you should know how to determine potential risk and when to proactively protect your eyes regardless if it’s obligatory or not.

Read on to find out more on when to use your safety glasses and prevent unfavorable incidents that may lead to eye injuries.

Wear Safety Glasses at Work


The workplace is one of the most common places where safety glasses are essential especially in industries that involve potential exposure to causative factors and elements. Industries such as medical, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, manufacturing, construction, repair services providers, etc. have corresponding risks of health hazards. But with proper protective gear, preventive plan, and meticulous delivery and performance at work, these are avoidable.

The most common work-related injuries recorded are the ones that affect the optical ability of a person. In the US alone, around 2,000 workers per day sustain eye injuries at work that require medical intervention and treatment. Although this can be prevented, eye injuries incurred at work are usual because every industry poses risk to certain types of injuries.

Most of this workplace incurred eye injuries are caused by not wearing the correct safety glasses when the incident happens. This is why wearing the right safety glasses is crucial in maintaining your safety while making yourself optimally productive.

This is also the reason why different industries require manpower to wear safety glasses while at work. They provide specific guidelines on what safety glasses to use and comply with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Wearing the correct safety glasses prevents the infliction of at least 90% of workplace-related eye injuries and reduces the intensity of damage to a minimum.

Are Employers Required to Provide Safety Glasses to their Employees


According to the OSH Act, employers are held responsible for creating a safe and work-conducive environment and maintaining a healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA obliges employers to provide the appropriate eye protection gear to their employees. They also ensure that this policy is strictly implemented and a corresponding punishment and fine await employers who do not conform with this rule.

OSHA also offers assistance to employers on what safety glasses to use and when to wear safety glasses. However, the best way is to educate oneself regardless if you’re an employer or an employee. Because knowing when to use safety glasses and what particular safety glasses to use prevents unforeseeable occurrences of eye injuries of about 90% in the United States per annum.

Employers Role in Maintaining a Safe Workplace

In the production and manufacturing industry, the most common eye injuries occur when using equipment such as grinders and sanders where there’s a high risk of foreign objects entering your eyes. Assembly workers in production floors are also exposed to eye-related accidents caused by high-density powered laser beams and foreign objects getting into the eye surface.

Moreover, in the construction industry, the craft workers such as carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, mason, and repairmen are also at high risk of optical injuries due to the nature of their work.

Further, laboratory, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries are also exposed to hazardous human waste, infectious diseases, chemicals, and unforeseeable turn of events that can potentially damage vision. Janitorial and maintenance personnel face the same danger while performing their duties. Thus, wearing the appropriate safety glasses is crucial in maintaining your 20/20 vision and preventing irreversible conditions.

Wear Safety Glasses at Sports

Eye injuries may happen even when you’re having fun and doing your favorite sports. As per the Workplace Eye Injury, 40% of all reported eye injuries took place at sports and recreational activities. And approximately 40,000 emergency room visits per year were accounted for due to eye injuries acquired from sports and recreational activities.

The competitive nature of sports and the relaxed, laid-back, and carefree nature of recreational activities clears our mind from potential health threats. We tend to forget that accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, when we least expect it. Any sport can cause eye injuries but the most common are competitive, high-intensity, and laborious sports such as baseball, jockey, racquetball, skiing, swimming, etc.

Wearing Safety Glasses During Fireworks Display

Recreational activities such as fireworks displays also pose the risk of eye injury to the people around and the person operating or lighting the fireworks. Fireworks accidents are one of the leading causes of eye injuries.

As per record, approximately 2,000 fireworks-caused eye injuries are recorded per year. And 1 of every 20 patients eventually loses their sense of sight or have an eye removed.

This can be avoided by following the government protocol regarding firework displays specifically by attending professionally organized and operated fireworks displays and avoiding at-home fireworks displays. However, in areas where at-home displays are allowed and if it’s unavoidable, you may use safety glasses and follow the proper preventive measures to ensure everyone’s safety.

Wearing Safety Glasses at Home

Our home is our haven but that shouldn’t lead us to the misconception that just because we’re at home, we’re completely safe from accidents and health hazards. 44% or the highest recorded cases of eye injuries occurred at home according to Workplace Eye Injury, beating eye-related accidents that took place in the workplace and at sports. Moreover, 4 out of 10 blindness-causing incidents occurred at home.

Yardwork, auto-repair, and even plain household chores could result in eye injuries either due to exposure to chemicals or power equipment such as shovels, trimmers, mowers, and other sharp tools. There are thousands of eye injury-causing possibilities and there are just too many to mention but the only way we can avoid this is to be ready and protective by using the right gear and safety glasses when performing housework.

It’s beneficial to have a few pairs of safety glasses at home. You’ll never know when you might need it. And minimal harm can go your way when you’re ready at all times.

Also, check this Youtube video to know why and when should safety glasses be worn?


We may not be able to control the outside stimuli but there’s something we can do to prevent accidents and do our part in saving our valuable optical ability. It also helps by being perceptive to our instinct and following the most possible route of protection when the need or gut feel of a health threat presents itself.

Wearing safety glasses is one way to prevent eye injuries at work, at home, at sports, and when doing recreational activities. Perceiving potential health hazards will help you identify the appropriate time to wear your safety gear for what hazard lies ahead.

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