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Safety Glasses

Safety glasses look like regular glasses but offer real protection because, unlike regular glasses, they are designed with impact-resistant lenses and stronger frames. Safety glasses are still a requirement if you wear contact lenses. However, they are available in prescription for workers who require corrective lenses. Safety glasses can also come tinted, or with safety shields at the sides of the glasses to protect against objects flying toward the eye from the side.

Safety goggles, like safety glasses, are impact resistant. They are also available with tinted lenses. Safety goggles provide greater protection because they protect the eyes from objects flying from all directions, even from above. There are two types of ventilation available with safety goggles. Regular ventilation is for those workers who are not at risk from splash hazards. These workers require safety goggles with indirect ventilation. Face Shields and Helmets While face shields and helmets are not considered eye protection on their own, they are often used with eye protection. Workers often use full-face shields when they are exposed to chemical, glare or heat hazards. Helmets are used when workers face hazards from molten metal or welding.

Here are some simple workshop safety tips:
* Always wear eye protection.
* Your eye protection must meet industrial standards.
* Your eyewear must fit properly and be maintained properly.
* Be aware of where first aid stations are located in your workplace.
* Become familiar with first aid for the eye.
* Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured in the eye or surrounding area.

Ear Protection

Your ears are more vulnerable than you might think. Working with power tools in an enclosed area can damage your hearing. People should wear a hearing protector if the noise or sound level at the workplace exceeds 85 decibels (A-weighted) or dB(A). When effective hearing protectors are worn properly, they can reduce the risk of damaging your hearing. Ear plugs are inserted to block the ear canal. They may be premolded (preformed) or moldable (foam ear plugs). Ear plugs are sold as disposable products or reusable plugs. Custom molded ear plugs are also available. Semi-insert ear plugs which consist of two ear plugs held over the ends of the ear canal by a rigid headband. Ear muffs consist of sound-attenuating material and soft ear cushions that fit around the ear and hard outer cups. They are held together by a head band. Disposable and inexpensive ear plugs work best for situations where high decibel noise exposure is a known quatity. Some prefer ear muffs or headphones for situations where exposure to noise is intermittent, as removing and putting the muffs back on is often more comfortable than repeatedly inserting and removing plugs.

Ear plugs and muffs both have advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Ear plugs can be mass-produced or individually molded to fit the ear, and they can be reusable or disposable. On the positive side, they are simple to use, less expensive than muffs, and more comfortable in hot or damp work areas. On the negative side, they provide less protection than some muffs, and should not be used in areas having noise levels over 105 dB(A) (A-weighted decibels). They are not as visible as muffs and a supervisor cannot readily check to see if workers are wearing them. They must be properly inserted to provide adequate protection.

Ear muffs are made with various materials and dome depths. The deeper and heavier the dome, the greater the low-frequency attenuation provided by the protector. The earmuff headband must fit tightly to maintain a proper seal, yet not be too tight for comfort. On the positive side, ear muffs can usually provide greater protection than plugs, although this is not always true. They are easier to fit, generally more durable than plugs, and they have replaceable parts. On the negative side, they are more expensive, and often less comfortable than plugs, especially in hot work areas. In areas where noise levels are very high, muffs and plugs can be worn together to give better protection.