Eye Protection - Summer Outdoor Workers

Eye protection should ramp up in summer, when outdoor workers are exposed to more hazards. Hear how cheap sunglasses may actually be ok.

In this podcast, Dan Clark says that UVA and UVB protected eyewear does not have to cost a lot. But beware, lens color is not an indicator of protection.

Also, Dan tells how to guard against dust, chemicals and other things flying through the outdoor air during summer.


intro music and effects

Dan Clark: Many jobs require eye protection, but working outdoors in summer adds extra layers of danger. Let’s keep the workers’ eyes safe.

Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply.

A show of hands please. Who wants to save some money? Buy anything at creativesafetysupply.com and bag 10% off. Use coupon code BIG10.

Plenty of outdoor jobs already demand some kind of eye protection, depending on the tasks.

• Construction can face flying objects and blowing dust.

• Electrical and utility workers are up against arc flash.

• Agriculture and landscaping deal with chemicals and blowing dust.

• In summer, when mother nature puts her paws on the thermostat, workers spend even more time outdoors. With elevated temps come additional hazards


• Extended exposure to UV can lead to vision damage over time. Cataracts are a common result.

• Protective lenses should be marked to indicate they provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.

• Pick lenses that block 99 to 100% of these rays—and they do not have to be expensive to be effective.

• Also, note the color of the lenses does not indicate the level of protection.


• Exposure to direct and reflected light can cause eye fatigue and headaches.

• Polarized lenses can be used to reduce reflected glare.

• Mirrored lenses reduce visible light.


• Differences in temperature and humidity can cause lens fogging.

• Sweating while working can lead to lens fogging.

• Some safety glasses come with an anti-fog coating if this becomes a continuous problem.

Laser-Gard Argon glasses. Image by Wikimedia Commons / Chhe

Note that workers need eye protection for all the hazards they will face. For example, regular sunglasses may protect from the sun and glare, but they don’t protect from dust or flying objects. Workers may need safety glasses or safety goggles with added sun, glare and anti-fog protection—the full Monty.

That’s it for this episode, Eye Protection – Summer Outdoor Workers. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.


See OHSA’s Eye And Face Protection eTool.

Sun image by Morguefile / Carretje; Explostion image by US Dept. Of Energy

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