Anti-fog solutions to keep eyeglasses on workers’ faces, not in their hands
Many workers will instinctively take off their safety glasses to see what is in front of them.
Lens fogging has always been a challenge for the industrial workforce, negatively impacting construction, machine shops, metallurgy, law enforcement, food processing and other workers. However, wearing a mask during the pandemic has multiplied this problem considerably, as hot, humid air is forced through the lens of safety glasses. This undesirable situation ultimately leads to worker frustration, increased risk of vulnerability and injury, and compliance issues.
When the glasses fog up, workers are caught in Catch 22. If workers cannot see, what will they do? Many workers will instinctively take off their safety glasses to see what is in front of them. This leaves their eyes unprotected and at risk for injury from airborne particles, fallen objects, chemical splashes and more.
Fortunately, safety professionals can minimize fogging and prevent incidents and resulting injuries by specifying eyewear with anti-fog coatings.
Five guilty fogging currents
Why do the glasses fog up? Safety glasses and prescription lenses fog up due to condensation, which is the process by which water vapor becomes liquid. It is the opposite of evaporation, where the liquid becomes a vapor. When hot air hits a cold surface, condensation can form. If the lenses on your safety glasses are cooler than the air around you, your lenses will fog up unless they have been treated with anti-fog coatings to help reduce fogging.
Fogged lenses can be the result of several factors, but the top five culprits are:
* Heat and humidity of the environment
* Worker’s effort
* Face masks that do not fit properly
* Transitions between hot and cool environments
* Daily lens cleaning
1. The heat and humidity of our environment often causes fogging on the outer surface of the lens.
Hot and humid environments are one of the main causes of lens fogging. Moisture in the air causes tiny water droplets to build up on the outer surface of the lens, much like a glass of beer or cold water “sweats” in the sun. Hot and humid summers, humid boiler rooms, and food processing plants are all examples of environments that can cause lenses to fog.
This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Occupational Health and Safety.