What should I look for when selecting anti-fogging safety glasses?

Q:

There are a lot of options for anti-fogging safety glasses out there. What should I look for if I want to find the best ones?

A:

Of the 300,000 eye injuries that happen in the workplace every year, an estimated 90 percent could have been prevented with proper eye protection. And fogging is one of the top reasons employee refuse to wear safety glasses on the job. In fact, a study by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety found that 100 percent of participants in the manufacturing, construction, service, and retail sectors reported fogging as a major factor for not wearing appropriate eye protection (find out How to Combat Fogging).

It’s clear that anti-fogging technology is critical to ensure worker compliance with safety practices. Here are three key features to consider when choosing the right anti-fogging protective eyewear.

1. Hydrophilic or Hydrophobic Coatings

Hydrophobic coatings repel condensation and cause the water to bead and roll off the lens, while hydrophilic coatings absorb condensation so the water droplets spread across the lens. Both of these lens coatings keep water from building up and fogging your vision.

2. Good Fit

Too snug of a fit can compromise airflow, which is a contributing factor to fogging.

The fit is extremely important when it comes to all safety glasses, anti-fog included. The orbital bone – the bone around the eye socket – is the area that needs protecting. This area should be completely covered by the lens of the glasses and there should be enough space for sufficient air to flow through.

3. ANSI Z87.1 Certification

Safety glasses are regulated by ANSI, and you want to ensure that any anti-fog eyewear you consider has passed their intensive testing process. ANSI certified anti-fog glasses have been tested for high impact on lenses and frames, exposure to non-iodizing radiation and chemicals, and durability to flammables and corrosion. Choosing safety glasses that are anti-fog but don’t meet ANSI standards puts workers’ safety in jeopardy.

Safety glasses are a critical component of PPE for many workers. But foggy glasses mean distorted vision at best, and costly mistakes or accidents at worst. Choosing the right anti-fog glasses will boost compliance and ensure that your workers’ eyes are protected consistently throughout their entire shift.

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Written by Chris O'Donnell
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Chris O’Donnell, the Radians Product Manager for hearing protection, has over two decades of experience wearing a multitude of hats in sales, marketing, business development, and product design and development. His extensive safety knowledge in hearing protection allows him to develop and market innovative hearing protection devices that take advantage of today’s technology and science while meeting the strict safety standards that govern HPD’s.   Full Bio