This month is guest author ,John Fischer, CSP, from SVS Safety. SVS Safety provides a wide range of prescription and non-prescription safety eyewear for companies from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises.
Chances are, you’re seeing a growing number of women in your workplace. And it’s not just you. According to the Department of Labor:
- Women make up 47% of the total U.S. labor force.
- Women will provide 51% of the increase in total labor force growth through 2018.
And while the majority of the 66 million working women are in professional, sales, service and other office-centered jobs, just over 5% are in production, transportation, and material moving occupations. They’re verging on 1% in construction, natural resources, and maintenance occupations. The number of women in jobs that may require PPE is close to 4 million.
Until about three years ago, equipment makers didn’t give much attention to the special needs of women on the job. They often had to wear children’s safety eyewear and don extra-small sizes of men’s safety clothing. Today, everything has dramatically changed. There is 50 times, maybe 100 times, the number of options available today than in 2010. There are smaller sizes and configurations, as well as stylistic choices.
Why do women need different safety eyewear? Let’s start with the basics of risk. The purpose of safety eyewear is to mitigate risk. If eyewear
- Women have a narrower forehead and face width. Women’s faces tend to have a narrower face, a more vertical brow line and cheeks that are rounder. Proper fit requires a narrower width of the glasses, from edge to edge. Designs that are too big or wide leave unprotected gaps.
- The bridge of a woman’s nose is smaller and narrower. For fit and comfort, the bridge on the glasses should be, too.
- Do earpieces fit? The earpieces on men’s glasses may be too long to properly fit along a woman’s temples and behind her ears. The glasses may wobble or pinch.
- Look for gaps in protection. Do the glasses properly shield the eyes? If there are gaps at the brow, side or bottom, try another pair.
- Match hazards to eyewear. Specific hazards call for particular ANSI ratings, or extra features such as side shields.
- Ask: “Are these comfortable?” There’s personal preference in comfort. All the measuring and checking means nothing if the wearer’s experience is unpleasant.
- Look for a smile. We’re all human – which means we want to look good on the job. A pleasing style can be a real plus for compliance.
Reprinted from DeFogIt Blog