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What price for good face protection?

01 March 2021

FACE PROTECTION products such as safety glasses, masks and visors have all been brought into much sharper focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re all critical components in the PPE framework that ensures wellbeing and safety at work.

In business and industrial environments, the use Face Protection products should be second nature. But believe it or not, a recent report showed that many men are now more concerned about face masks of the cosmetic kind than personal safety and protection on site.

A poll of 1,000 people found that British males spend an average £760-a-year on 'essentials' to keep their skin in tip-top condition.1  That’s probably far more than a single person would spend on PPE in a year. What’s more it’s estimated that the UK market for men’s face care products is worth over £77 million a year!2

But anti-wrinkle creams, facial washes, scrubs and face masks will hardly provide proper protection of vital facial features when working in hazardous environments. Sadly, accidents happen all the time, sometimes in the most innocuous situations that we might ordinarily take for granted - like strimming the garden, jet washing the patio, cutting wood or drilling a wall.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, industrial and construction-related work has a much higher rate of facial injuries than any other with hazards many and varied. Impact injuries can be caused by flying objects such as stone or brick fragments, particles of dirt and dust, tiny pieces of metal and splinters caused by hammering, chipping, grinding, machining, wood working, sawing, and drilling. 

Chemicals and extreme heat sources are also dangerous to the face. Splashes, fumes, vapours and irritating mists can scald and burn while welding arcs, UV radiation and intense light can damage your eyes. 

Non-fatal injuries cost a business £1,400 on average, but injuries that incapacitate an employee for at least 7 days cost close to 4X as much (£5,100). Illnesses caused by work have a larger financial impact on a business, with an average cost of £4,000—but work-related illnesses keeping an employee out for at least a week cost a business £8,300 on average.3

The consequences of facial injuries are serious, potentially life-threatening. Not just time off work and loss of pay as a result of short or long-term injuries, there’s the potential for something more significant. An injury can cause a lifetime of permanent disfigurement, even loss of sight. Surely that’s a good enough reason for using proper face protection products all the time.

There are three basic things you can do to help prevent an eye and face injury. Use the appropriate eye and face protection for the task in hand. Use machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls. Wear eye and face protection on site as advised at all times and ensure your PPE is approved and in good condition.

The type of safety eye and face protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If you are 

working with chemicals, you should wear goggles. If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fibre optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.

Some people will always find a reason not to use proper PPE. Cheap face protection products are ‘uncool’, they ‘fog up’ and are often unwearable because pressure, pinching and slipping points are a nightmare for users and the PPE ends up on top of workers' heads or in their pockets instead of over their eyes. 

What to look for in the best Safety Eyewear

Comfort, protection and fit is really important as are lightweight, durable materials to provide complete protection and flexibility of design for combination with other PPE including ear defenders, safety helmets, and visors.

Also, look out for and specially developed lens technology for impact-resistance plus anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings on both sides as well as styles that can be worn over prescription glasses.

Around the lens, ergonomic designs should incorporate practical features, like a soft nose bridge and ‘adjustable temples’, which ensure the glasses stay in place and fit safely allowing you to keep a sharp focus all day long.

What to look for in the best Face Protection Visors

BS EN 166:2002 is the International Standard for eye and face protection covering personal protective eye wear in the form of Visors and Eye Shields and it’s important to look for this standard when you’re choosing what products to use.

Think carefully about hazards in the work environment and look for a product that is designed for a comfortable, tight and ergonomic fit for maximum protection, especially so that no objects get around the edges of the visor. The visor should cover your face from at least the forehead to the base of the chin. 

The best quality Visors are available in different materials, thickness and size which correspond to specific hazard protection. You can even get Visors that are treated with an anti-fog coating. Don’t assume that a basic product that you might use for strimming or jet washing will provide maximum effective protection on a construction site. 

Polycarbonate provides impact and heat resistance. It is also used for arc flash, high heat, chemical splash and radiation protection while Acetate also provides excellent resistance to chemical splash. For protection against radiation (IR and UV), look for Visors that are made from special tinted and/or coated polycarbonate. While Mesh visors are generally used to protect the face from flying debris and large dust particles.

Top quality protection

Hellberg Safety specialist PPE products include highly advanced face protection products, noise hazard protection and communication solutions for personal safety and wellbeing on site.

Hellberg’s interoperable face protection products offer helmet and visor solutions to suit a variety of internal and external work situations. With a standard product design across the range, users are able to mix and match visors, carriers, and hearing protectors for complete ‘headband-only’ or ‘safety helmet’ solutions that protect against the hazards faced in differing task environments.

Everything single component in the Hellberg Safety PPE range combines the hallmarks of, advanced technology, quality and comfort with superb, practical protection for the hazards you’re likely to face - whatever job you’re doing in high-risk work environments. 

Safety glasses and goggles.

Renowned for its hi-spec PPE that includes advanced hearing protection products, face protection and communication solutions, Hellberg Safety is launching a new range safety eyewear.

With a wide range of street-smart styles, from basic to premium - the new range ensures a consistently clear line of sight and safe vision for professional tradesmen and women wherever they’re working on site.

Built with lightweight, durable materials and specially developed lens technology, the eyewear provides complete protection, and comfort throughout the working day and can be easily combined with other PPE including ear defenders, safety helmets, and visors.

With a focus on enhanced safety in all conditions, Hellberg Safety Eyewear has impact-resistant lenses with anti-scratch and anti-fog coating on both sides and there are styles that can be worn over prescription glasses.

Around the lens, the ergonomic design, incorporates practical features, like a soft nose bridge and ‘adjustable temples’, making sure the glasses stay in place and fit safely allowing you to keep your focus all day long. 

For more information on the Hellberg Safety PPE range, call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website www.hellbergsafety.com or email sales@hultaforsgroup.co.uk


3 https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/business-insurance/workplace-injury-statistics-uk