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Contact Lenses in the Workshop


#1

What’s the consensus about contact lenses in the workshop? I searched
both Orchid’s archives andfound no mention of “contact lens safety”.
Google came up with something interesting (below). What do people
think? Brian

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
518 South Titirangi Road
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz


#2
    What's the consensus about contact lenses in the workshop? I
searched both Orchid's archives andfound no mention of "contact
lens safety". Google came up with something interesting (below).
What do people think? 

Whatever Google had to say didn’t come through in your post. I wear
extended wear soft contacts pretty much all the time due to severe
myopia. I’ve recently begun to need glasses or an optivisor for
close-up work (that middle-aged “arms are too short” disease), but
for some things I can still see clearly with just the contacts. I
can’t see clearly enough with regular glasses to do any sort of shop
work, so I wear the contacts there too. In the shop I wear eye
protection–tight fitting ones to keep investment dust out, and hard
ones to keep flying bits of metal from grinding out of my eyes.

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com


#3
    What's the consensus about contact lenses in the workshop? I
searched both Orchid's archives andfound no mention of "contact
lens safety". Google came up with something interesting (below).
What do people think? Brian 

Hi Brian, I think wearing eye protection is a must, the price you
would pay for something happing to your eyes is of course far too
great. As for wearing contacts vs glasses, the American Chemical
Society (www.acs.org) has studied hundreds of accidents (in the
chemical industry, but this applies well to us) over many years and
has made the observation that there is no significant difference in
eye injury between people wearing glasses or contacts. Some
situations contacts have had a slight advantage (usually flying
debris), in others the glasses have an advantage (splashing of
liquids since it is harder to get liquids washed out from under
one’s contacts). These observations were generally made in
situations where eye protection was in use anyway. I would highly
recommend safety glasses or goggles of some sort especially when
buffing, grinding, casting, etc. and keep some sort of eyewash
station handy for splashed solutions (pickling, staining, etc.) The
latter one is probably a rarity around most home shops, but a
critical piece of equipment.

Brian


#4

Contact lenses can work very well in the workshop, provided that you
have a mostly dust and debris free workplace. The key issue is dust
and debris. If you don’t have a good ventilation system that draws
any dust created by your work, you will experience contamination
problems.

Here’s an idea to see if you have a “clean enough” workplace. Dim
the lights a bit, and shine a spotlight or focused flashlight in the
air near where you have just finished polishing metal or cutting
metal. If you see “floaters” you will have problems with contacts.

Any process that can put dust or debris in the air will cause a
contact lens wearer problems. You can get around this to a certain
extent by wearing Z87 safety glasses. Regular “street” glasses will
work, but don’t provide impact or side shield protection that you
need.

Mike Aurelius
Aura Lens Products


#5

Here’s the snipped refernce: The Last Word on Contacts Years of lens
use and research studies have settled the issue: Wearing contacts in
a chemical environment or other environments doesn’t increase the
risk of injury… by Karen Messana

http://www.stevenspublishing.com/stevens/ohspub.nsf/d3d5b4f938b22b6e8625670
c006dbc58/e2007e47ea765012862569e6007fde6d?OpenDocument

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
518 South Titirangi Road
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz


#6
    What's the consensus about contact lenses in the workshop? I
searched both Orchid's archives andfound no mention of "contact
lens safety". Google came up with something interesting (below).
What do people think? Brian 

Well, the “something interesting” didn’t come through, but —
Usually, in a workshop or chem lab, where objects or chemicals might
end up flying around, anyone working there needs something for
protection. If they don’t wear safety glasses, then they need
goggles. Contact lenses don’t really protect, in fact they can do
just the opposite. Once (years ago) I was starting to get some
contacts, but dropped the idea when I was informed that (since I was
a chemist working in a chem lab) that if I got contacts I would also
have to wear some special goggles at all times when in the lab. Some
acid splashed in the eye, for instance, could be disastrous; it would
probably get under the lens, and since it would then probably be
almost impossible to remove the lens – at least not quickly enough
to get it all washed off before “fatal” damage would be done to the
eye – .-- well, you get the picture! Damage from flying bits of
metal could also be exacerbated. So – y’all, remember – ALWAYS
PROTECT THOSE MOST PRECIOUS THINGS; YOUR EYES!

Margaret


#7

When I began making jewelry several years ago, I found that I had to
switch to eyeglasses. I started getting eye irritations, viruses, and
infections that I had had almost no trouble with prior to making
jewelry.

Alana Clearlake


#8

I have been wearing hard contact lens from the " Cuban Missile
Crises" to date. I have worn them in some severe industrial
environments. If you practice respiratory safety then practice the
same for your eyes.

Watch out for dusts and fumes from polishing, grinding, and chemical
processes. If irritated, take the lens out, and wash them and your
eyes . If your eyes continue to stay irritated, then find and correct
the cause.

I am more confident wearing hard lens than soft lens. I am legally
blind with out corrective lens. This has kept me from certain jobs,
but nothing which I wanted to do.

One recommendation, is that if your eye itches, take your hand and
rub your eye brow ONLY !!! Do not hesitate to wash your contact lens
off and your eyes out.

ROBB - Retired Old Baby Boomer


#9

Alana - One of the magazines we get at home had an article not too
long ago about hand washing. The author was involved with a study of
hand washing and disease, and had found that the lack of regular,
frequent hand washing was the major culprit in these types of
problems, not things like contact lenses. From my own experience
with metal work and lapidary, I have to agree. It may seem a bother
to wash often, and it requires special hand lotions to prevent
chapping, but it works.

Jim Small
Small Wonders


#10

Re contact lenses in the studio…I have worn contact lenses-soft-
in the studio for several decades with no ill affect that I know of.
One should be aware of the drying affect of heat (kilns/torches etc.)
and deal with it if the lenses are making your eyes feel dry and
scratchy. in which case you can use an appropriate lens lubricant,
wear a protective eye shield ( i wear reading glasses ) and be
conscious of the heat in your face. An observation: I have
noticed a remarkable difference in one thing! I don’t “cry” anymore
cutting onions since I’ve started wearing lenses. This leads me to
believe that the lens shields what most be the most fume sensitive
part of the eye. regards, Marianne Hunter


#11

I’ve worn contacts in the workshop for years without any problems
until recently. I got a severe eye irritation caused by extreme dry
eye! It didn’t happen in my shop (or perhaps it did over the years),
I was horseback riding on a dusty trail and must have gottem about a
truck load of dirt in my eyes. Hence, irritation! It took about 3
months, many visits to the eye doctor, lots of drops, and new
glasses. Now I find I wear my glasses more often in the shop, and
actually have to take them off to do close work. I have to wear
reading glasses when I wear my contacts, so what’s the difference? I
can see better up close w/out any glasses! All a matter of
preference I guess, but since I spend so much time in front of the
kiln I feel it’s better to be without contacts and wear safety
glasses.

Can’t wait to see everyone in Tucson!!! – Lisa Hawthorne
@Lisa_Hawthorne


#12

Brian,

Contact lenses are fine as well as not wearing glasses, but you
should always protect your eyes when using any type of machinery. I
always suggest to my students to wear protective lenses on their
faces. I include eyeglasses as safety glasses. There are alot of
people who don’t agree with me, but that is how I feel.

Jennifer in Atlanta


#13
I include eyeglasses as safety glasses.  There are alot of
people who don't agree with me,  but that is how I feel.

Hello out there -

I recently got reading glasses prescribed to wear at the bench, and
have noticed that when I get lazy at the flex shaft and don’t also
add my big bulky safety goggles quite a bit of grit sneaks up under
my eyeglasses and into my eyes. There have been so many times I’ve
been wearing both pairs and something hits them at high speed (such
as the ‘arms’ of those 3M radial bristle brushes…anyone have
similar experiences with thosse just flying off in droves? Am I using
too high a speed or too much pressure perhaps?) that I’m now paranoid
that next ‘something’ could lodge in my eyeball, so I no longer ever
rely on the glasses alone for protection. I like my eyes fully sealed
around the edges, thankyouverymuch!

Just one gal’s experience, Jessica in San Francisco who, come to
realize it, feels like she’s still wearing those darn goggles!


#14
   I include eyeglasses as safety glasses.  There are alot of
people who don't agree with me,  but that is how I feel. 

Jennifer,

It’s your business what you choose to do, however I’ll just pass on
that the last time I was at the eye doctor’s, he was kind enough to
discuss this issue with me. He informed me very strongly that
glasses are NOT impact protection and would shatter if hit the right
way. Additionally, they do not protect from debris and fluids
splashing from the side, as has been said elsewhere. This does not
exactly qualify them as ‘safety glasses’.

Normally, I’d keep my opinion to myself on this one. However, I
feel that if you are indeed teaching students, then you have a
responsibility to give them true Especially when it
has an impact upon their safety and their safe studio practices in
the future.

Thanks, Marie


#15
 I like my eyes fully sealed around the edges 

yess,good to secure the whole eye, but i rigged a lexan shield to
go between me and the work, i’m a little primative so what i did
was to find a curved motorcycle shield in the garbage(damn garbage
pickers), and i made a hole on the side of it the size of my dust
collector hose,3"?, and fit it on the hose diameter, both of which
are aimed right at my lap or wherever i hold my work when using the
flex, i move the hose, the shield is right there,also got flex arm
lights all around to come right down on my work, under the shield
(150-300watts), and the hose is attached to a flex arm type
deal(could be rigged with a flex arm lamp, or other ways), movable.
There have been many saves from this system, “saves”, as in the
eyes, when i forget to don my glasses due to laziness, but if you
make sure that your light, and dust hose are going to the same spot,
your shield will be there(i never go anywhere without the hose), if
it’s attached, but i always wear glasses anyway, i also have a
screen in the hose, close to the opening, in case something light in
weight gets sucked in, to sum though, I WOULD GO WITH THE TOTALLY
ENCLOSED LENS, or make sure the curved ones are fit on the face,
tightly, and never let people(family,etc) in the shop without
glasses!!! david


#16
There have been so many times I've been wearing both pairs and
something hits them at high speed (such as the 'arms' of those 3M
radial bristle brushes...anyone have similar experiences with
thosse just flying off in droves? Am I using too high a speed or too
much pressure perhaps?) 

Jessica, check to be sure you have mounted the bristle brushes so
that the leading edge of the wheel is the curve of the arms rather
than the points. When correctly mounted they wear exceedingly well
and rarely “fly off”. I use them mounted 5 or 6 on a mandrel and it
takes a very long time to wear them down to the hub.

HTH
Pam Chott
Song of the Phoenix


#17

Thanks to all those who replied. The replies were about personal
experience of wearing contacts in the workshop. And I certainly agree
that wearing safety specs when operation various pieces of machinery
etc etc is adviseable. However I want to inquire about what behaviour
is recommended by recognised safety sources. The reference I included
in my question was unfortunstely snipped from my posting (I posted it
soon after), as was a this quotation from the reference:

“Safety professionals should no longer take the position of
prohibiting the wearing of contact lenses in the workplace, and the
requirements to wear PPE for “eye hazardous” situations should be no
different for wearers than non-wearers. Why can this be said? Because
after 40 years of contact lens use, there is no well-documented
that wearing contacts increases the risk of injury over
that of non-wearers and wearers of spectacles, whether we are talking
about foreign bodies, or chemicals, or other eye hazard sources…”

I understood til now that contacts were a hazard to the wearer, so
it seems I’m out of date with currect thinking on the matter.

However, I thought it was worth a discussion, as some of you might
be a workplace safety officers.

Brian

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz


#18

Well, one thing that we need to remember during this discussion is
that nowadays most of the “glasses” that people wear have plastic
lenses, rather than glass. I don’t know just how a plastic lens
might react (as compared to a glass one) “if hit the right way”.
However, I doubt the plastic ones would stand up like safety
glasses, which are tempered glass (so they won’t shatter).

Margaret


#19

I understood til now that contacts were a hazard to the wearer

One person has said that dust gets between their contact and the
eye, but there shouldn’t be dust flying, because it goes in your
respiratory tract also, that should be taken care of already with a
dust collector(or at least suck it out the window),and all larger
projectile pieces shoud be caught by 1st, a shield, 2nd your safety
glasses

However, I feel that if you are indeed teaching students, then you
have a responsibility to give them true
This said by one of the enlightened members


#20

I recently had an experience which convinced me that you’re both
correct.

Eyeglasses are no substitute for safety goggles; but they can prove
to be invaluable backup protection.

No matter how careful I am, I occasionally forget to put on my
safety goggles. (Anyone else? :slight_smile: ) This usually happens when I’m
working outside my own shop. The last time I purchased new eyeglasses
I opted for Polycarbonate lenses and a Titanium frame. That seemed
like a wise precaution…

One month later I was at a friend’s business, removing a stuck
electrical housing (with no safety goggles in sight.) A stubborn tab
on the cover plate gave way suddenly, and the (rather heavy, rather
sharp) part flew up and hit me in the face! The impact was hard
enough to bend my shiny new Titanium frames; and it carried enough
point pressure to gouge the shatter-resistant Polycarbonate lens. I
don’t want to know what it would have done to a standard plastic
eyeglass lens (nor what it might have done to my unprotected eye!)

What’s my point? Wear Polycarbonate goggles in the shop. Always.
And if you must wear corrective lenses in everyday life, ask your
Optician to grind them from quartz-coated Polycarbonate. The extra
measure of safety is beyond price!

Peter
TripleRock Lapidary
Western New York, USA