This may come as a shock (pun intended), but as an electrician, you need safety glasses for every project you tackle. Every day you work is a day you risk your eye health, and wearing protective safety glasses is an essential part of your personal protective equipment.
At Stoggles, we understand that eye safety is important, and we also know that you like playing with electric current. While it’s all in a day’s work for you, we see the potential risk. We’ll cover what those risks are and what you can do to minimize your risk of getting injured.
How Does Vision Work?
You know how to rewire an electric panel in about two hours flat, but you probably aren’t as familiar with how your eyes work. Spoiler alert: there’s electricity involved.
The eyes collect light through the dome-shaped cornea, which sits in the front part of your eye. This light is sent to the pupil, and the iris (the colored part of your eye) helps determine how much light is allowed inside the pupil.
Light focused through the pupil is sent back to the retina. The retina is home to specialized cells that are capable of changing light into electrical signals. The electrical signals travel to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then interprets the electrical signals into vision.
The retina is also home to the macula, a structure that is responsible for fine, detailed vision. The cells of the retina and macula do not regenerate like other cells in the body. This means when they are damaged or destroyed, a portion of your vision is lost for good.
It’s like an embarrassing email that you can’t un-send or a tacky gift you can’t return but, like, a thousand, million times worse.
Every day, more than 2,000 workers sustain an eye-related injury. Among the top injuries are electricians, who frequently sustain burns and foreign objects in the eyes. It’s not just the currents in the wires that can damage your eyes. More frequently, electricians are subject to the debris and dust from other workers in the same environment.
For instance, an electrician installing panels in a new home may be working alongside carpenters who are grinding, sanding, and using nail guns. Of the 2,000 workers who get eye injuries, many sustain strikes and scrapes from dirt, dust, and other debris. You know it’s an accident, but that doesn’t make you any less mad when the general contractor has to drive you to the hospital instead of heading out to lunch with the rest of the crew.
An eye injury may be minor, but it could also cost you your vision and potentially your career. About one-third of the daily eye injuries reported result in trips to the emergency room, and a little over 100 of them result in time missed from work.
The risk is real, but the good news is that experts agree that 95% of all eye injuries are completely preventable simply by wearing protective eyewear.
The Safety Eyewear Checklist
As an electrician, you need eyewear that won’t conduct electricity and will keep your eyes safe from debris and harmful light.
Here, we give you the rundown on the specs every pair of safety glasses should have:
Dielectric Safety Glasses
You know better than to carry metal parts on your person while on the job, but you may not have considered metal eyeglass frames. While the tiny screws inside your eyewear are likely not going to conduct electricity, the frames could potentially trigger an arc flash or shock.
Dielectric safety glasses are those that are made of non-conductive material to keep eyes safe.
Polycarbonate, for instance, is non-conductive and safe for electricians. It just so happens that’s the only material we use in crafting every single pair of Stoggles we make.
As important as non-conductive material is to protect your eyes from electric shock and arc, the material has to be durable to keep your eyes safe from impact. The American National Standards Institute is the premier authority on impact-resistant safety glasses.
They have instituted two tests to ensure that safety eyewear won’t break or shatter when worn correctly.
High mass impact test. This test involves dropping a weighted ball bearing on the lenses of safety glasses to ensure they do not break.
High-velocity impact test. During this test, a steel ball bearing is fired directly at the lenses to see if they can resist shattering or breaking.
It may seem like fun and games to the crash test dummies, but people don’t bounce back quite as well. These tests ensure that safety eyewear won’t break and send shards of material into your eyes while you’re on the job.
Just so you know, the polycarbonate frames and lenses from Stoggles that protect against electric shock are also ANSI Z87.1-2020 certified for impact resistance.
You know your job exposes you to a myriad of unexpected, non-electrical toxins (rodent droppings behind electrical sockets, anyone)? You might not realize that some parts of your job also expose you to UV radiation. If you do any welding or work outdoors, you may be risking your eyes to UV rays.
UV blocking safety glasses will protect your eyes from harsh UV rays, which can damage your eyes. Ultraviolet light can pass directly through the pupil to the retina and even trigger early onset macular degeneration. It’s important to protect your eyes with UV-blocking glasses anytime you’re exposed to UV light.
The same polycarbonate that’s protecting your eyes from electric shock and flying nails from your nail-gunning coworker is also naturally UV-blocking, making it a seriously supercharged material.
Blue Light Blocking
Much like UV light, blue light can also pass through the pupil directly to the retina. While it’s still not clearly understood what kind of long-term damage blue light can do to our eyes, what is understood is this:
- We are exposed to blue light almost continually via the sun, smartphones, tablets, LED televisions, computer screens, and LED light bulbs.
- Blue light can cause eye strain and fatigue, symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Even if you aren’t installing LED lighting on a regular basis, you’re probably still documenting your daily duties on some type of electronic device, and that device is probably infiltrating your eyeballs with blue light.
Blue light-blocking glasses work by filtering out harmful blue light so you can keep using your devices (or screwing in lightbulbs) without harming your eyes.
Side and Top Shields
If your regular eyeglasses have plastic frames, it can be tempting to assume they’ll work just fine to keep your eyes safe while you work. Wrong-o. These frames leave your eyes unprotected near the eyebrows and on the sides of your skull.
Wraparound lenses may be popular solutions that offer “unobstructed” vision, but unfortunately, they can also cause your vision to be warped. If you wear prescription safety glasses, the effect is even more severe.
It probably goes without saying, but having a funhouse mirror effect in your glasses is not a cool feature to have while working with electricity.
You may have guessed it, but Stoggles feature side and top shields that won’t warp your vision. If you need prescription eyewear, we can do that too. In fact, we handle prescriptions in-house to save you time and money.
What happens when you move from indoors to outdoors? Your glasses fog. Instinctively, you remove them to wipe them on your (totally clean) overalls. Not only are you getting your glasses dirty, but you’re also putting your eyes at risk.
Anytime you remove your safety glasses to wipe them, you risk the safety of your eyes by exposing them to the hazards in your environment. Instead, opt for lenses that have anti-fog technology, like Stoggles.
Stoggles have lenses that are created to change the way water vapor collects on the surface, making it impossible for fog to form. That’s good, considering you’ll need to see clearly before you clip the red wires… or the blue ones.
Safety Glasses That Don’t Hertz
Your eye safety is a pretty big deal, and if you are relying on your regular eyeglasses to keep you safe while you work, you’re making a mistake that could cost you your vision. Stoggles eyewear is crafted from polycarbonate material which is dielectric, UV-blocking, and virtually indestructible.
In addition, you won’t find a pair of spectacles with as much spark as ours. With numerous frame shapes and colors to choose from, you can completely customize your look to your favorite arc flash suit or cover-up.
You don’t mess around with electric current, and we don’t mess around with eye protection. For keeping your eyes safe while you’re bringing the AC/DC heat, trust Stoggles for protection and style.