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Safety Awareness: Protect Your Eyes

Not All Glasses Are Created Equally

To keep moving forward with our month of safety articles and discounted product that we hope will help you stock up on all the safety gear you need, let's take a look at safety glasses and what makes a pair of safety glasses approved for work in the tree care industry. Just because you have a pair of glasses on doesn't mean that they are actually rated for the hazards that we are exposed to while doing tree work. Maybe you picked up a pair of cheapo glasses at the gas station in the morning or you brought in your super high dollar polarized glasses for when you are out on the boat? Are either of these any better than the other at protecting your eyes? Most probably not.

Make Sure They Are Certified

For our purposes, safety glasses need to have a certification from ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in order to be used for tree care operations. ANSI is a non-profit volunteer group made up of your peers in the industry. Its mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and safeguarding their integrity. This means that they work together to come up with a set of standards for safety in different industries. When it comes to safety glasses, ANSI puts these through quite a bit of testing to make sure that they will perform and protect in a way that complies with the ANSI standard. If they pass the test, they will be marked with the Z87.1 certification.

Blunt impact testing is one of the things that most in the tree care industry can relate to. Blunt impact is when an object is launched, falls, or impacts our eye. This could be a stick, a log, or even a throw bag. The lenses on a pair of ANSI approved safety glasses are going to absorb as much of the impact as possible without shattering. The whole idea is that a large enough impact will more than likely give you some bruising or even lacerations but the lenses will keep you from have a limb sticking out of your eye socket. Take a look at this cool video from Edge Eyewear about the rigorous testing that they do on their safety glasses. I'm pretty sure it will give you a whole new respect for those glasses that you just tossed on the dashboard!

What to Look For

There are other markings on your safety glasses as well that mean they have been tested for other things that relate to different industries. Here is a quick rundown of what some of these markings mean:

  • Impact: 'Z87+' indicates high-velocity impact, and 'Z87' alone means basic impact

  • Splash and droplet: D3 for splash and droplet and D4 for dust

  • Fine dust: D5

  • Welding: W plus the shade number

  • UV: U plus the scale number

  • Infrared light: R plus the scale number

  • Visible light filter: L plus the scale number

  • Prescription: Z87-2 on the front of the front of the frame and on both temples

  • Head size: H indicates products designed for smaller head sizes

  • Other: V for photochromic and S for special lens tint

At a class I attended last year, we were asked what safety glasses were used for. Most everyone said that they kept things from getting in your eyes, which is a good general explanation. However, the trainer explained that dust and that type of stuff will always find a way of getting under the glasses and in your eyes at times, but the biggest reason for wearing safety glasses was to keep your eyes inside your head. The fact that those lenses won't shatter make's it pretty hard for a stick to penetrate the lens, poke your eye, and fling it out into the canopy! Though that sounds both graphic and horrific, it is also a very real possibility if you are wearing a pair of glasses that are NOT ANSI approved!

Protect Your Eyes On Us

We want to try to keep you as safe as possible, so we are giving away a free pair of safety glasses with every order made for the entire month of February! That is on top of any other sales we are having as well! This is a great way to stock up on some awesome safety glasses from top manufacturers such as Edge Eyewear or for you to get all your workers ready for the upcoming work year! Remember to stay safe and wear your PPE!!

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