By law, approved safety glasses or eye protection must be worn in a wide variety of workplace environments. Despite these requirements, statistics show that in 2005 there were 1280 claims for eye injury compensation in Australia.
Quality safety glasses should have the Australian Standards logo—it indicates that they conform to impact resistance tests. There are also four lenses marking that show if the glasses are appropriate for specific uses.
Use only AS/NZS1337 approved eyewear and choose eyewear with the help of a WH&S professional.
All eye protection must meet the following criteria:
1. The eye protector must be finished correctly and not cause injury or discomfort during use.
2. Materials should not cause skin irritation, abrasion or cause skin discolouration.
3. Lenses offer protection, provide no distortion and are comfortable to wear.
4. Eye protectors that completely seal the ocular area must provide ventilation (note: some medium and high impact protection is exempt from this requirement).
5. The minimum vertical dimension for eyewear is 70mm and for a face shield, the lower edge of the brow guard to the lower edge of the visor is 170mm.
6. All eye protection has to be able to withstanding impact from a specified weight ball without cracking, detaching or dislodging, breaking or coming into contact with the eye or the head.
7. Eye protection must withstand penetration of a specified weight projectile without cracking into two or more pieces, being pierced or allowing the projectile to come into contact with the eye or the head.
8. Materials used in the construction of protectors should withstand heat so that the burning rate of the material will be no greater than 100mm per minute.
9. Materials used in the construction of protectors shall be stable at elevated temperatures and will show no physical distortion in optical properties or strength.
10. When tested for corrosion, the materials shall have a smooth surface free from corrosion.
11. All eye protection should be capable of withstanding the relevant test for low impact.
12. Medium impact protection will be wide vision goggles, wide vision spectacles, face shields, eye shields and helmets and are able to withstand a greater impact.
Choose the style and model of eye protection based on comfort and potential hazards on your job site.
Remember to choose safety goggles over safety glasses if workers need protection from dust and splashes—safety goggles fit tight against the face. Our Scope range offers good chemical splash resistance. Our ProChoice range has clear and smoke lenses for indoor/outdoor work and anti-fog lenses for humid conditions. See here.
WH&S regulations and company policies require that workers wear respiratory protection in certain hazardous conditions or where there are fumes or dust particles.
Respiratory gear is designed, manufactured, tested and certified for use against a number of different hazards. So check the charts and the label/type of each respirator and select your gear based on its specific purpose.
A P1 rating protects against mechanically generated particles. P2 rated respirators protect against mechanically and thermally generated particles. Respirators fitted with an Active Carbon Filter protect against nuisance-level organic vapours.
There are six types of airborne hazards:
1. Dust: Formed by the breaking down of solid materials, normally when materials are altered. For example, sanding, cutting, grinding and brushing. In general, the smaller the dust particle, the greater the hazard that it presents. Fibres from materials should also be treated as dusts.
2. Mist: Formed by the processes that involve atomisation (such as spraying, cleaning and cutting/grinding using coolants) and consist of tiny liquid droplets rather like steam in a bathroom.
3. Fume: Formed by the vaporisation of a solid material by the application of intense heat. Extremely fine particulates are formed as the fume cools and condenses. Many processes form fume, such as smelting, pouring metals and many welding applications.
4. Vapour: A gaseous state formed by evaporation from substances that are normally solid or liquid at room temperature. Generally released at room temperature (petrol, methylated spirits), many industrial processes used in degreasing vaporise particularly quickly once heated.
5. Gas: An air like substance at room temperature. Gases can travel far, very quickly.
6. Oxygen Deficiency/Enrichment: When an atmosphere is likely to contain less than 19% oxygen (or where conditions may exist in the future for this to happen) or in certain circumstances where there may be too much oxygen—this can lead to explosion and severe impairment of operatives.
Note: Monitoring devices should always be used to check oxygen levels of an unknown environment. Conventional dust masks aren’t suitable for oxygen-deficient situations.
Choose your protection based on the type of airborne hazard in your job site.
A disposable respirator is a maintenance free, single shift, single use item. It can be used for a maximum of 8 hours.
In hot, dusty, humid conditions, or where the wearer is removing or adjusting the mask frequently, the mask will be effective for a shorter period of time.
Always replace a respirator with a new one if:
• The respirator is removed in a contaminated area
• Excessive clogging of the respirator causes breathing difficulty
• The respirator becomes damaged
• The smell of vapours becomes apparent
• It doesn’t fit snugly for the entire shift
Make sure to keep unused respirators in their closed box in a dry, uncontaminated area. They can last up to 2 years if stored this way.
Find our Bencorp Personal Protective Products here.