Dirt, dust, and debris – the three main culprits that help determine not only the use of safety eyewear in your work environment but the need for close-fitting, full-coverage eyewear. A trend for this kind of coverage is gasketed safety eyewear, and use is on the rise for good reason – keeping your eyes safe on the job is imperative, especially when certain applications warrant the extra protection.
However, although popular and purposeful, gasketed eyewear can be incorrectly administered. From our years of experience in both understanding, safety needs as well as matching PPE to the application and user, we wanted to help clear up some misconceptions on this piece of eyewear.
What is Gasketed Eyewear?
Gasketed safety eyewear, also called sealed eyewear or spoggles, has become increasingly popular due to its unique style and performance abilities. With a more universal fit and diverse application range, gaskets are a great option for workers and safety managers who want to maintain high levels of PPE compliance while adequately protecting against dirt, debris, and splashes to the eyes.
Gasketed eyewear falls into the middle spectrum between safety glasses and safety goggles by bringing a unique solution to the table – combining the two. The intention with gaskets is to create a low-profile, almost complete seal to the face, whereas regular safety glasses tend to have a slightly wider gap in between the lenses and your face.
This seal is great for use in dry or windy environments outdoors and for crushing or dredging applications where that dirt, debris, and splashes we mentioned before are present. The main industries we’ve seen these used in are:
- General Contracting
- Downstream Oil & Gas
Misconceptions of Gasketed Eyewear
Don’t misunderstand – we believe gasketed eyewear has its place in eyewear safety lineups. The goal of this blog is to help provide you with all the information you need to find the right safety eyewear solution for your organization. Let’s run through the misconceptions of this popular safety eyewear.
Misconception #1: Gaskets are for Everyone
Many times, gasketed eyewear is used because there is the notion that the gasketed portion of the eyewear will fit all face shapes, and therefore, will be a one size fits all solution. However, this is not the case.
Gasketed eyewear doesn’t eliminate the need for offering multiple options and fit testing. Like all safety eyewear, a proper fitting test must be conducted with all employees in order to best understand what type of eyewear should be used per person. This can possibly produce better results – and increased compliance – than mandating gaskets for everyone.
When not properly mandated, a domino effect can occur: gasketed eyewear can create other hazards, such as fogging or discomfort, that can then lead to wearers not properly wearing them, which could then lead to potential compliance issues.
Misconception #2: Gaskets are Versatile for Several Applications
You may have heard that gasketed eyewear can be used in all kinds of situations and applications. Though we encourage proper eye protection to be worn when needed, our approach is to fit the eyewear to the application and not to use a universal eyewear solution to attempt to cover most or all applications.
Gasketed eyewear has a specific function, and when that function is not necessarily needed, gasketed eyewear can end up becoming less of a safety need and more of a hazard. Depending on the application, gasketed eyewear may end up being pushed down on the nose by the wearer or not worn because of improper use.
Misconception #3: Gaskets are Just as Functional as Other Eyewear
When compared to other styles of safety eyewear, some gasketed eyewear ends up being less functional than originally intended. When you bring in outside factors, such as heat, moving machinery, and excessive dust, your gasketed eyewear can quickly turn into a hindrance instead of help.
The closed environment of gasketed eyewear will increase the likelihood of eyewear fogging. Having good anti-fog coatings is critical, but even then, fog-free eyewear cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, some gaskets obstruct peripheral vision, limiting visual safety alerts to workplace motion. Lastly, if gaskets don’t fit properly, the excessive dust particles on the job can get stuck in the gasket, inhibiting your vision further. All of these are likely to lead to compliance issues, where employees are removing the eyewear and exposing them to hazards.
Again – this all comes down to the importance of fit testing. When gasketed eyewear is used instead of more properly fitting glasses or goggles, some issues may arise from a functional standpoint.
Find the Closed Safety Eyewear That’s Right for You
The misconceptions above can be solved by conducting a proper fit test and investing in high-quality PPE that fits your needs. Here is an example of what high-quality eyewear can do for you.
The company below found that their current eyewear as only lasting them 12 days, while HexArmor® eyewear was lasting an average of 35-40 days. The ultimate finding? Switching to HexArmor® eyewear, while initially more expensive would save them money over and above what they were currently already spending in terms of cost per day.
This was only an analysis of the cost of the eyewear. This didn’t include the money they’d be saving from their employees remaining compliant, avoiding direct and indirect injury costs, and the overall boost in employee morale they’d experience because of more comfortable, higher-performing eyewear.
HexArmor® Can Help
If you have to wear a gasketed safety eyewear, you should wear the best. Backed by 90+ years of optics and coatings science, German-engineering, and in-house manufacturing, HexArmor® offers a full range of gasketed safety eyewear options for you to choose from. Each option includes our revolutionary LTX® lens technology for edge-to-edge optical clarity, along with our TruShield® proprietary anti-fog and scratch-resistant coatings that have been tested in our labs but, more importantly, proven in the field.
To find the safety eyewear that’s best for you, we recommend trialing products to determine the best fit for each individual and application.Get Your Fit Test Today