Even though the temperature around Australia and New Zealand does not plummet the way it does in Europe or America but the cold weather still interferes with sight in numerous ways. This can be especially a problem when you need to work while wearing safety glasses. Colder temperatures can cause a number of problems with your glasses which is why you need to buy glasses which are especially designed for winter.
In addition, you will need to choose safety eye ware which prevents your eyes from becoming dry and making it difficult to concentrate on what you’re doing.
When your eyes are exposed to wind, snow glare and low temperatures not having the right safety eye ware in place means that you’ll end up suffering from eye pain, sensitivity, decreased or blurred vision and in some cases vision loss. The problem is that many people overlook the importance of protecting their eyes during the winter because they are more worried about protecting various other parts of their body.
Always have more protection
The best way to protect your eyes during the winter is to wear a good quality safety goggle. Goggles will cover your eyes in a way so that they are fully protected from flying particles and the wind. However, the important thing to keep in mind when buying safety goggles is to buy one which is designed for winter use, this is because regular lab goggles become ridged and often uncomfortable to put on for an extended period of time, plus they are prone to fogging.
Winter work goggles are a lot like ski goggles i.e. they have a dense foam surrounding the edges, are soft, have dual lenses and a comfortable band. Ideally, you should choose goggles which are Aust/NZ standard certified.
Beat lens fogging
Lens fogging is the first thing you need to consider when choosing cold weather safety glasses. Lens fogging occurs when there is a difference between the lens temperature of the wearer’s face and the temperature around, this variation causes the air to instantly condensate which is what you see as fog on the lens. If your work involves heavy exertion this can make the problem even worse because perspiration adds a lot more moisture to your lens.
Fogging causes frustration owing to blurred vision and then he or she would have to constantly remove the eyewear in order to clean the lenses. Some may even opt not to wear the protective goggle since it’s so bothersome. This leaves their eyes exposed.
So, the first thing you should do is to check if the safety glasses you’re buying has an anti-fog coating since this the first line of defense against fog and condensation. But any expert will tell you that anti-fog coatings are not 100% fool proof and the lenses still need to be wiped every now and then. So, choose coatings often regarded as “advanced coatings” these are bound to the lenses. This offers better performance and the period between cleanings is long enough to make it bearable.
The other thing you should look at when buying is to get one with dual pane lenses which are great for winter applications. These are good because there is an eye chamber separating the two lenses. This acts as a sort of insulator which reduces overall condensation.
Safety glasses with air flow
Good airflow is another way to reduce fogging. High quality, cleverly manufactured safety goggles will have air vents which allow for the warm and moist air to leave which in turn reduces fogging. Direct venting is perhaps the best option but not the best for all situations. If you’re working with chemicals or gases then direct venting safety goggles are not recommended. So, you’ll want to choose glasses that have hooded vents or ones with no vents. These are however expensive safety glasses and most people don’t need them.
If it snows in your part of the country then you’re all too familiar with snow blindness which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Apart from blindness the amount of UV light which bounces off your eyes causes corneal sunburn, cataracts and even macular degeneration. This is why I See Safety recommends that people buy safety glasses with brown, mirrored or gray tints. If you’re quickly transitioning from outdoors to indoors then buy one with photochromic lenses.
Mark is one of the leading experts on safety glasses and working in cold weather. He currently runs an online store selling safety equipment which includes goggles among other things. In his opinion safety during the winter is often taken lightly in Australia when it can it can endanger people’s eyes.