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September 8, 2010

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Survey finds large numbers of workers don’t wear eye protection

New research published by 3M has revealed that over a third of companies in UK have employees who don’t wear safety eyewear when required.

The study was carried out by research company 2 Europe and was compiled from one-to-one interviews with safety managers from a wide cross section of industries. The results showed that 38 percent of workers don’t always wear eyewear when they should. The main explanation given for this was that wearers found their safety spectacles uncomfortable.

73 percent of those surveyed said that comfort was the most important factor when selecting safety eyewear. 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Group product manager, Sue Poole, said: “Compliance topped the list of important factors when selecting eyewear, ranked only very slightly below protection. It is worrying to find that the there is a significant number of people who do not wear their safety spectacles.

“The main reason for people not wearing safety eyewear is lack of comfort and one reason for this could be lack of consultation during the decision-making process. One of the key challenges facing those responsible for specifying any form of PPE is gaining the acceptance of the wearer, and resistance to a particular choice will make enforcement all the more difficult.”

Replacement of safety eyewear also came under the spotlight with 32 percent of respondents saying that they change safety eyewear once a year, 23 percent on a six-monthly basis and 20 percent as and when needed. Sue Poole comments: “There can be no hard and fast rule on how frequently safety spectacles should be changed as this is influenced entirely by usage and the conditions to which the spectacles are exposed.

“The most important issue is to ensure that a proper inspection regime is instituted with the mechanism in place to change safety spectacles as soon as any deterioration or damage is identified.”

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