Safety eyewear, is style an important safety feature?


The eye is a delicate and vitally important organ and eye protection is essential in a range of industries. The market is full of all manner of safety eyewear which begs the question; what qualities are most important when it comes to eye PPE?

As the primary purpose of safety eyewear is the protection of the eyes the answer may seem obvious. The most important quality of safety eyewear is how effectively the devices prevent foreign objects from entering the eye, right? Well, not necessarily. There would be little use in issuing fishbowl style astronaut helmets to every employee, even if they fully protect the eyes. Would people actually wear them? Would they impede people in their job?  How much would they cost compared to a more standard form of eye protection?

When trying to find out the most important characteristics of safety eyewear who better to turn to than companies who have a long history of supplying them to their employees. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has conducted research, surveying over 500 UK companies, to find out their key priorities for safety eyewear to gain an insight into what they look for.

Perhaps surprisingly, comfort was most selected as a priority at 57% alongside the ability for employees to try on eyewear prior to purchase to test its comfort and fit at 40%.

The look of the product was also given importance, with 30% highlighting designs for both men and women, 27% concerned with style and 25% interested in branding (although interest in branding could be due to style or brand reputation/quality). 29% of companies prioritised pricing.

The results of this survey demonstrate that the selection of eye protection is more complex than may first appear. Companies appear to prioritise comfort and style in many cases, perhaps because ignoring these factors may result in employees not wearing the necessary eye protection.