Eye Injury Statistics: Why Workers Won’t Use Safety Glasses

April 1, 2015

According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, over 700 Canadian workers per day sustain eye injuries on the job, resulting in lost time and/or temporary or permanent vision loss.


Indeed. With eye injury statistics like this, you would think that employees across Canada were doing nothing but throwing sharp pencils all day. But let’s face it, Canada is largely natural resource based – with workers all over the country involved in heavy-industry like oil & gas, forestry, and mining.

However, this statistic isn’t the worst. The worst statistic of all is that 90 PERCENT ARE PREVENTABLE by the use of proper safety equipment, including SAFETY EYEWEAR.

Why Workers Won’t Use Safety Glasses?

While we do not have a survey to ask “Why weren’t you wearing your safety glasses?” because after all, asking the obvious when a person is suffering is not a comfortable question, there is anecdotal evidence. And we hear several reasons why workers may avoid wearing safety glasses:

  • “I hate layering glasses over glasses.” If the worker already wears prescription eyewear, putting safety glasses over regular glasses is a hassle. In addition, the worker may not feel he or she can see well enough to do a proper job.
  • “It doesn’t fit right.” If your glasses were ordered online without a fitting, or if they are a generic size, they can be very awkward fitting, and fall off when you most need them.
  • “They look ridiculous.” If workers are self-conscious about wearing safety glasses, they will take them off at the first chance, and could forget to put them back on when necessary (if indeed they know where they left them!).
  • “It’s not necessary, the employer is just doing a CYA” If the bosses don’t wear the safety gear, or exhibit a casual atmosphere toward enforcing it due, employees may think the rules are just for insurance or liability purposes. They may think the dangers are only superficial.
  • “They don’t have sun protection.” If workers are outside without lenses coated with sun protection they may be tempted to wear sunglasses instead of safety glasses. Having any lens in front of the eye can fool workers into thinking they have protection, but there is a huge difference between sun glasses and real fitted safety glasses.

The best answer to any of the above issues is to supply properly fitted, prescription safety eyewear, dispensed by an Optometrist. Contact Eyesafe today to learn about how our program can prevent eye injuries in your workplace.

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