When you’re in a position of authority on a job site (like foremen, construction managers, and supervisors), it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself and your team. The effectiveness, accessibility, and—let’s be honest—style of the personal protective equipment (PPE) you provide them with will determine whether or not they’re likely to use it.
The more your team uses their PPE when they work, the less risk you take of seeing common workplace accidents. One of the easiest ways to increase construction safety is by ensuring the proper use of protective eyewear and safety goggles.
How Dangerous Are Construction-Related Jobs?
Even though traipsing through a construction site is second nature to you, it’s important to always remember the risks. Construction jobs present the risk of injury to everyone who steps foot on your job site.
In terms of measuring the danger of construction jobs, one in five on-the-job deaths is from construction injury-related. That equates to a 20% chance of having a worker seriously injured (or dying) every time they come to work.
Even if the injury isn’t life-threatening, it can be disabling or cause your employees to miss work. Missed work can cause delays which ultimately result in unmet project deadlines. Eye injuries alone account for more than 10,600 construction site injuries which cause employees to miss work.
With the risks of injury high, the need for safe and effective PPE is crucial. However, even if you provide PPE, there’s no guarantee your workers will use it and use it correctly. Safety glasses and goggles are two of the most misused or unused pieces of PPE on a construction site.
Why Workers Aren’t Wearing Their Safety Glasses
Your workers have specific duties on a job site that are time-sensitive, arduous, and require their full attention. Anything that distracts from their job might get tossed aside, including bulky, uncomfortable safety glasses.
Here are three reasons your workers may opt to risk their eyes and forgo their safety glasses:
1. They’re Overly Confident
Seasoned construction workers know their craft and do it well, but it doesn’t mean there can’t be room for mistakes and accidents. Unfortunately, the longer you’re on a job site, the more callous you become to the risks that are involved.
Some workers may not want to wear safety glasses because they’re certain they’ll perform their job safely. Others may cite the fact they’ve never had a single accident. Regardless, the best practice is to always have your workers wearing protective safety glasses to avoid potential injury.
2. They’re Uncomfortable
Some people may wear shoes that give them blisters to their office job, but your construction workers aren’t going to wear PPE if it’s uncomfortable. One of the biggest complaints among workers is comfort-related issues with their protective eyewear. It goes without saying your workers need to be able to see clearly without distraction.
Here are some of the most common comfort-related complaints:
The glasses fog. Workers in humid climates can experience lens fogging, as well as workers who frequently go from cooler indoor temperatures to warmer outdoor temperatures. If your workers wear facial coverings, the fogging may be worse. Anti-fog drops can help, but safety glasses that are built to block fog? That’s the good stuff.
Glasses that fog take your workers off task. They are distracting and require removal and cleaning. This creates an unsafe situation and also causes delays in getting their work completed.
- They’re not the right size. Let’s face it; most safety goggles are horribly oversized. These glasses slip and slide on your workers’ faces, especially if they sweat. Rather than continually readjust their glasses, most workers will simply remove them.
- They hurt. Safety goggles can be extremely tight, especially if they’re worn over a pair of corrective lenses. A worker who is in pain is distracted and uncomfortable. Before you know it, the glasses are off. The worker feels better, but their risk of eye injury increases.
- They can’t see. If your workers need prescription lenses to see clearly, they’ll need them in safety glasses, too. If a worker can’t see properly with their safety glasses on, it isn’t safe for them to use them.
These are legitimate protestations, and a smart manager recognizes the need to offer PPE that is as comfortable for their workers as it is protective.
3. Safety Goggles Make Me Look Lame
Even the burliest of construction workers have some level of style-preservation. Many workers won’t wear safety goggles because they feel ridiculous wearing them. If you’re seeing a trend with your team members not wearing their PPE, you can count on more workers joining those risky ranks.
How To Improve Construction Safety With Protective Eyewear
Increasing your construction site safety and avoiding job-related injury is achievable with protective eyewear that is safe, comfortable, and, yeah, even stylish. Here’s how to pick the best PPE for your team.
Comfortable safety glasses will make a huge difference in overall compliance. The more comfortable the glasses are, the more likely your workers are to wear them at all times.
Make sure the safety glasses you select are:
- Impact Resistant. Frames need to be ANSI Z78.1 certified to guarantee protection from all sorts of dangers. Frames should also be crafted from lightweight, polycarbonate frames to make sure they are impact resistant. The polycarbonate material ensures frames are light enough to be worn comfortably for long periods of time while providing the protection needed on the job site.
- Anti-fog. Put an end to fog fury. Safety glasses have fog fighting capabilities to ensure that no matter what the temperature or humidity level, your workers can see clearly and don’t have a reason to remove their glasses.
- Offer prescription lenses. Workers who need corrective lenses shouldn’t feel they have to choose between comfort or vision correction. Safety glasses are readily available with custom prescription lenses, so your team can see clearly and stay safe. Not to mention, those of us with glasses know what a pain it is to wear goggles over our regular glasses.
- Consider blue light blockers. Many construction sites are located in the great outdoors (or under city scaffolding). But just because you’re outside, doesn’t mean you’re escaping blue light. Blue light from screens can have negative effects on many aspects of our lives, including our sleep patterns. So whether you’re adjusting the music in your headphones, looking at emails from the boss, or calling a client: you’re being exposed to blue light.
When you place an emphasis on comfort, you’ll immediately notice an increase in compliance.
PPE, But Make It Fashion
Sure, the hardware store has a box of safety goggles that will do the job (i.e., protect your workers’ eyes), but if your workers feel ridiculous wearing them, chances are they probably won’t.
Stoggles are the safety glasses that wear like a pair of eyeglasses, protect like safety goggles, and look like seriously stylish specks. Our glasses are lightweight, protective, and stylish enough to be worn off-site.
Construction Safety With Stoggles
The safety of you and your team is why we addressed some of the most common complaints workers had with safety glasses. You’ll find Stoggles feel differently than other safety frames you’ve worn.
Our glasses protect your workers from injury while keeping them comfortable and compliant. We also handle prescription lens requests in-house, saving you time and money and allowing workers who need corrective lenses to get the same, great-fitting glasses the rest of your workers use.
We can’t guarantee you’ll never have an accident on your job site, but we can assure you that with Stoggles, your workers’ PPE compliance will increase. As a side note, you’ll also have a very stylish team.