The best eyewear technology to stay safe in the workplace
6th November 2023

Workplace accidents can have far-reaching consequences for both employees and employers. This is especially true if the employer fails to provide the necessary certified equipment to ensure the safety and well-being of their workforce.

All businesses are obligated to uphold a standard duty of care in safeguarding their employees, and it is mandatory for certain industries to supply standard personal protective equipment. Numerous individuals face potentially life-altering risks to their eyes while on the job, underscoring the critical importance of ensuring adequate protection for workers. However, this aspect is prone to being inadvertently disregarded.

Although eye injuries might not be the most prevalent in the workplace, their impact can be devastating for the individuals involved. Employers must undertake comprehensive, job-specific risk assessments to ascertain the appropriate safety eyewear required. Moreover, they need to possess a thorough understanding of the different levels of protection and performance available. To start, the key is to identify the most suitable lens protection for the workforce: 

Polycarbonate lenses

Polycarbonate lenses set the standard for safety in eyewear. If you work in an industry where the potential for impact injuries from particles or airborne objects is high, then these lenses offer optimal protection.

Initially, polycarbonate lenses were developed for the protection of fighter plane cockpits, they were subsequently adapted for use in astronaut visors and space shuttle windshields. Polycarbonate lenses exhibit up to 10 times greater resistance to impacts compared to plastic or glass lenses. In addition to their outstanding safety properties, these lenses are notably lighter and thinner than alternative options.

CR39 lenses

CR39 lenses, also known as 'Columbia Resin 39', serve as an excellent option for non-industrial settings. Like polycarbonate lenses, they are composed of polymers that provide durability. However, CR39 lenses do not provide the same degree of impact resistance for industrial hazards as polycarbonate lenses do.

In settings where there is a potential for impact, these lenses may not offer the necessary level of resistance to mitigate the risk of injury.

What are the advantages of selecting polycarbonate lenses over CR39 lenses?

Both types of lenses offer impact protection, but the degree of protection varies significantly. CR39 lenses are suitable for non-industrial settings and jobs that demand less protection.

In contrast, for high-level protection, polycarbonate lenses are the preferred choice. Particularly for workers frequently exposed to impact risks, polycarbonate lenses should be the first choice when selecting safety eyewear. 

Lens Coating Technologies by Riley

The robust polycarbonate lenses in Riley's safety eyewear range offer exceptional protection from impacts, ensuring high performance. Additionally, these lenses provide impeccable optical clarity for all wearers, in line with the EN 166 standards. Riley's coating technologies have been specifically engineered to offer the appropriate level of protection for any work environment:

Tecton - A coating that’s applied to many Riley eyewear products, making the lenses more resistant to scratches and misting. The coating meets the 'K' (anti-scratch) and 'N' (anti-mist) standards of EN 166.

Arida 400 - Clarity of vision is provided for outdoor workers through the ARIDA™ coating. The moisture-repellent ARIDA coating on the outer surface helps to prevent water droplets from sticking to the lenses. The inner surface of the lenses also features anti-fogging properties.

Tecton 400 - Lenses with the TECTON 400 coating help prevent light at the higher end of the UV spectrum from passing through the eyewear. This coating also contains high-performance anti-fogging and anti-scratch properties on both sides of the lens, whilst also being moisture repellent.

Each model in the safety glasses portfolio is available with a variety of lens tint options to allow safe working in a wide array of applications. Selected models also protect up to 400nm to provide maximum protection from both UVA and UVB light regardless of lens tint, absorbing the lower part of the blue light in the visible spectrum.

Globus 360 Program

If you're still unsure about the best choice, the Globus 360 Program provides an extensive risk assessment and customised product suggestions designed to fulfil your specific business requirements.

To find out more, click here

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