A significant number of eye and hearing injuries occur each year in industrial and construction areas, making the issue of eye and hearing safety integral. Motion’s partner, 3M™ takes safety seriously, which is why they have an extensive range of eyewear and hearing protection devices to mitigate the risks of damage occurring.
Protective eyewear and hearing protection devices (HPDs) provide various benefits in prioritising safety for the user. Dirt and sand fragments typically enter the eye because of wind or falling debris, and sharp materials like metal or glass can get into the eye due to explosions or accidents or job tasks such as grinding. Meanwhile, exposure to hazardous noise arising from a wide range of applications in the workplace can damage one’s hearing, possibly resulting in permanent hearing loss or tinnitus. Sounds greater than 85dB(A) are likely to cause these problems, and repeated exposure can cause other health issues, including stress, fatigue, sleep disturbance and anxiety.
HPDs help reduce the effects of noise on hearing by decreasing the level of sound reaching the inner ear. According to AS/NZS 1270:2002, the ‘class’ system is an easy way to choose a hearing protector appropriate to noise exposure. The standard categorises hearing protection into five classes, with Class 1 being the lowest level of protection and Class 5 being the highest level. A workplace noise assessment will determine what level of hearing PPE workers should use to protect them from any noise risks.
Different eyewear is needed depending on the user’s circumstances. According to The Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS1337.1 the impact rating of eyewear ensures that the product matches the hazard and is fit for purpose.
Medium Impact protection is the most popular choice with lenses marked I or F and safety spectacles with this marking provide protection from a number of hazards including the use of hand tools. Where a higher level of impact protection is required e.g., cutting and grinding a high impact face shield marked V is also required. Wearers are advised that safety spectacle should also be worn under the face shield to compliment and ensure that their eyes are protected by this double layer system.
3M™ PELTOR™ Earmuffs and Headsets meet the needs of almost any working environment and include low-pressure foam-filled cushions for all-day wearer comfort. The 3MTM E-A-R™ Earplugs are renowned for ease of use and effective hearing protection, and include disposable, push-to-fit and reusable earplugs.
Lens colour and type is another factor that has to be taken into consideration with eyewear, as this is highly dependent on the weather conditions the user is exposed to. A clear lens colour would be used when the maximum amount of light reaches the eye for good vision in a general everyday setting. Whereas yellow/amber eyewear increases contrast, reduces haze from blue lighting, and offers excellent UV protection. This would be good for inspection tasks and hazy, overcast or foggy days.
The effectiveness of a hearing protector reduces dramatically when the hearing protector does not fit properly, is incorrectly inserted, or is not worn 100% of the time during all hazardous noise events. Removal of the hearing protector, even briefly, substantially reduces protection and increases the risk of hearing damage. Offering a variety of HPDs that provide options for workers in terms of comfort, ease of use, communication, and noise reduction (attenuation) is vital.
3M™ offers different eyewear options for different needs, such as their SecureFit range, offering stylish, lightweight designs. Their Virtua Series delivers protection with streamlined design, and Virtua CCS protective eyewear with foam gasket boasts an athletic-inspired image.
• Always use protection in environments with heavy/loud machinery
• If protection is unavailable, speak to a manager
• Have regular vision/hearing checks (Audiometric Assessments)
For more information on protective eyewear and hearing solutions, get in touch with your local Motion branch.